Reading Response Journals: Some Basics
To see examples only, please scroll down, there are four examples for these books: My Brother the Robot, Books of Umber, The Dragon Games, Planet Out Of The Past, The Shooting Star.
Reading response journals are a place to record a student's thoughts, reactions, feelings, interpretations and questions about what you are reading. This is not for you to summarize what you have read. Instead, you should state your own opinions and back them up with examples you can find from your reading.
Things to write about in your reading journal - While reading, try to retell the story, connect your own experiences to the story, interpret the author's meaning, make predictions or hypotheses, state your opinions and find supportive words, ask yourself some questions, and last but not least, make some personal reflections.
If you stuck, think about quote or point out, experiences or memories, reactions, questions, and evaluations. Check out Reading Response Journals Writing Basics for Kids for more detailing ideas.
Reference this school website for information on readers' response questions, how to make a journal entry, things to write about in your reading journal.
A sample reading response journal rubric for your reference:
Reader's Response Journal Rubric
Buy Books to Help Writing Reading Response Journals
Reading Response Journal Examples
My daughter Xuan started her response journals writing since elementary school years just like other kids did, those were simple ones and we never kept them. Her writing significantly improved after she participated in the summer reading program provided by Carey Memorial Library in town of Lexington this summer vacation. The first thing her new teacher said to me when we met for the first time was "Yes, a good writer". She tends to keep her good writing works now as she enjoys reading them later. Here I'm giving few examples of her reading response journals done this year in her 7th grade classroom. They are not perfect, and she tends to quote a lot from the books based on the teacher's remarks, but they are done pretty well. But I personally feel they are at least good examples to show all the middle school kids.
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My Brother The Robot
"My Brother The Robot" gives off a bit of humor mixed with many unusual twists and surprises. For example, in the beginning of chapter 3, the main character says, " 'Ah yes'. He did that mean laugh again. 'I forgot how bad humans are at energy processing. Lots of waste product I've been told.' ". The reason the book is so unique is because a humanoid robot is involved, so sometimes phrases and movements are seen from the robot's point of view. For example, " 'Rise and shine', he let out a really really annoying ring from his mouth like an alarm clock"; or "Simon quickly scanned his data bank". However, it is always very easy to understand what is going on. These quotes also show the author's writing style, which is funny and elaborate. There are a few easy names to remember in the book. I enjoyed this book because the author gave the most interesting characters a major role on adventures and aspects of life. The chapters alone are very funny, but they change feelings quickly. For example, dad's first reaction was, "He stared calmly at the ceiling". However, on the same page his reaction goes from friendly to enraged, " 'Fine! That's fine with me!. Now I can concentrate on Simon!' ". Overall, "My Brother the Robot" by Bonny Becker is a very funny and interesting book. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys interesting fiction stories.
Books of Umber, The Dragon Games
"Books of Umber, The Dragon Games" may sound like a rather dramatic book, but the mood in the story is often and mostly calm, stretched and slow. The author, P.W. Cantannese, takes appropriate time to explain many immense details. Sometimes the book focuses on action, adventure, and tense moments. For example, "For a moment, nobody moved as the giant eye twitched and rolled. And for a while nobody dared to even breathe". These rare moments often tempt and challenge the reader to keep going. Afterward, they come to a great finish. "Argent took a gasping breath, as if to gather whatever strength was left. His free hand rose, trembling towards Loden's face.'Or his neck', Hap thought. But the effort was too much. The hand relaxed and thumped on the ground". The entire setting takes place in the past, I think 3,100 years ago, when barely any present technology was invented. This is probably why many events may sound confusing since surroundings are not always familiar to us. Another characteristic of this book that is easy to recognize is the powerful wording it states. For example, "Hap felt a wave of pain. It was biting his palm. 'Get away from me!', he shouted". Overall, I think this book is very well written and has a good amount of quality and humor.
Planet Out of the Past
"Planet Out of the Past" is an old story written by the author James Lincoln Collier. It is a very addicting book since it has lots of action and strong events. The setting is actually in the future, although the cover and first appearance make it look like it took place in the stone age. When three scientists go on a hunt for their father, they go through journeys where they hunt for food with early people. It is very exciting. For example, "The little horse screamed and staggered back down the embankment, we charged towards it. It raced back, throwing Handy to the ground...Handy jumped to his feet, flung his arms into the air and began to leap around the horse, shouting 'Mayamo! Mayamo! Mayamo!', at the top of his lungs. Then Neil began to dance beside him. 'Mayamo', he shouted". Another good reason I enjoyed this book is because it changes often from funny to serious. For example, "Char would make his nice and brown and even and you would just burn it and eat the burnt part and burn it again. 'The burnt parts best', Neil said.". The suspense and plot line in the story eventually forgets about the main goal. In the end, the problem is resolved and ends with a theme. In conclusion, I think "Planet Out Of the Past" is a very good and interesting book for everyone.
The Shooting Star
The book "The Shooting Star" is a classic realistic fiction story written by the author Margot Benary-Isbert. It as written a long time ago during 1954. It is quite simple, however, the contents and the descriptive detailing makes it a very interesting book. This book also contains pictures to give it maximum clarity. One image I could see was, "It was no longer snowing but all around the world was buried under masses of snow Annegret had never seen before. High above, a pale sky vaulted over the landscape...Peak upon peak they towered up, white as white, with delicate silver edges and violent slopes.". This is why I liked this book. I also found it pretty funny sometimes. Like when Anneyret, the main character wrote a letter to his father, "How are you. I am well. I am eating an aweful lot. I have a bird that sits on my hand it is a titmous and I have peinted him for you. Dear father, wen are you coming to see us?". This book does not really have a theme. It tells many amusing stories about life in the mountains, which I very much enjoyed. Overall, this book was a great read and I liked it. I would recommend it to young readers.
The Teacher's Remarks for the Above Journal Responses
Please use complete headings. You have explained in detail what impressed you about each book. I like the quotes you have selected as evidence, they are always pertinent to your observations. Excellent responding.
htodd from United States on November 18, 2011:
Thanks for the nice post...Great post