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Using Journals With Reluctant Writers
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Using Journals With Reluctant Writers
Building Portfolios for Middle and High School Students



June 2000 | 160 pages | Corwin
`This is one of the best books I have seen on topics for writing. All students could benefit from this - not just the reluctant writer' - Carol Miller, Intervention Specialist, Mineral Ridge High School, Mineral Ridge, Ohio

Primarily intended for at-risk and/or special education students, this proposed workbook provides journal topics designed to inspire even the most reluctant writers. The topics begin with general non-revealing, non-threatening ideas. These topics will help to introduce writing as a means of expression and allow the student to test the teacher's reactions before encountering material that requires more personal responses. The topics have multiple questions, because many students (especially reluctant writers) will answer any question with as few words or as simple a sentence as possible.

Using journals as daily practice and requiring weekly formal essays can provide students with the tools they need to become proficient writers. Each journal topic is followed by a video, and half have related readings that can be used for a more comprehensive English course. All of the ideas in this book are simply starting points for teachers to develop and use in the manner that best fits their students and classroom environment.

 
Introduction
 
School
Suggested Video: Dead Poet's Society

 
 
Trading Places
Suggested Video: LadyHawke

 
 
Life Summary
Suggested Video: Forrest Gump / Suggested Reading: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

 
 
Friendship
Suggested Video: Breaking Away / Suggested Reading: Walk Two Moons

 
 
Family
Suggested Video: Parenthood

 
 
Home
Suggested Video: What's Eating Gilbert Grape?

 
 
Talents
Suggested Video: Mr Holland's Opus

 
 
Fears
Suggested Video: The River Wild / Suggested Reading: Touching the Void

 
 
Sports
Suggested Video: Rudy

 
 
Expectations
Suggested Video: Stand and Deliver

 
 
Autumn Holidays
Suggested Video: The War / Suggested Reading: Born on the 4th of July

 
 
Being Alone
Suggested Video: Iron Will / Suggested Reading: Hatchet

 
 
Communication
Suggested Video: Renaissance Man / Suggested Reading: Romeo and Juliet

 
 
Peace
Suggested Video: Star Trek IV

 
 
Giving
Suggested Video: It's a Wonderful Life / Suggested Reading: The Gift of the Magi

 
 
The Future
Suggested Video: Multiplicity / Suggested Reading: The Giver

 
 
Coming of Age
Suggested Video: Dirty Dancing / Suggested Reading: The Car

 
 
Dating
Suggested Video: Roxanne

 
 
Children
Suggested Video: My Girl

 
 
Old Age
Suggested Video: Cocoon

 
 
What Dreams May Come
Suggested Video: What Dreams May Come / Suggested Reading: Tuck Everlasting

 
 
Money
Suggested Video: Greedy

 
 
Occupations
Suggested Video: My Bodyguard / Suggested Reading: The Midwife's Apprentice

 
 
Emotions
Suggested Video: The Color Purple / Suggested Reading: The Color Purple

 
 
Crimes
Suggested Video: Cool Hand Luke / Suggested Reading: Holes

 
 
Punishments
Suggested Video: Philadelphia

 
 
Cliques and Gangs
Suggested Video: The Outsiders / Suggested Reading: The Outsiders

 
 
Uniqueness
Suggested Video: School Ties / Suggested Reading: Night

 
 
Equality
Suggested Video: A League of Their Own / Suggested Readings: Sounder; Black Like Me

 
 
Fame
Suggested Video: Malcolm X / Suggested Reading: The Autobiography of Malcolm X

 
 
Decisions
Suggested Video: Benny and Joon

 
 
Dreaming
Suggested Video: Field of Dreams

 
 
Television and Movies
Suggested Video: The Truman Show

 
 
Experiences
Suggested Video: White Fang / Suggested Reading: To Build a Fire

 
 
Famous Dates
Suggested Video: Groundhog Day

 
 
Leaders
Suggested Video: War of the Buttons / Suggested Reading: Lord of the Flies

 
 
Lies
Suggested Video: Liar, Liar / Suggested Reading: Lies

 
 
Truths
Suggested Video: Contact

 
 
Sickness
Suggested Video: The Cure

 
 
Health
Suggested Video: Running Brave

 
 
Personality
Suggested Video: Young Einstein / Suggested Reading: Searching for Bobby Fisher

 
 
Mysteries
Suggested Video: The Fugitive / Suggested Reading: Hound of the Baskervilles

 
 
What If...
Suggested Video: Deep Impact

 
 
Spring
Suggested Video: Desert Bloom

 
 
Graduation
Suggested Video: With Honors

 

"I loved the book and the soulful responses it generated from my reluctant writers." 

Dee Conklin, Ph.D.
Teacher, Reno Sparks Indian Colony

 "This journal program is authentic and gets students to write! Because the journal topics reflect current issues, my students respond positively. And, I get great insight into their lives."

Carol Popowich
Resource Teacher, Marshall Alternative High School

"This is a book that is sorely needed! I’m impressed with the mature way the topics are presented to the students." 

Rob Owens
Teacher, Washburn Rural High School

"This is one of the best books I have seen on topics for writing. All students could benefit from this – not just the reluctant writer." 

Carol Miller, Intervention Specialist
Mineral Ridge High School, Mineral Ridge, OH

"The topics and assignments are intended to develop students’ critical thinking skills, encourage self-discovery, and ultimately result in more relevant and proficient writing." 

Exceptional Child Education Resources
Summer 2001, Volume 33(2)

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ISBN: 9780761976127
£27.99