Double Entry Journals

Strategy 12 By Payton Scheer

What is a Double Entry Journal?

The Double Entry Journal is a strategy that enables students to log their responses in a journal as they read. Students divide their pages into two columns an on the left side they write down phrases or sentences from their readings and on the right side they write their own reaction to that passage. The right column can be anything from the students reactions, what they phrase meant to them, questions they may have, etc. The purpose of this strategy is to give the students opportunities to express their thoughts an become involve in the material they read.

How to use a DEJ?

1. Introduce a passage to the students and discuss the Double Entry Journal technique, including specific guidelines for writing.

2. Have students divide their journal page into two columns. Titling each column as whatever the teacher chooses.

3. As the students are reading their passage they will be picking out quotes or phrases that they believe are important and writing them in the left column.

4. After the write a phrase, they will write their reactions, thoughts, or questions they may have in the right column.

5. Students can then discuss in a group discussion the quotes/phrases they chose and their thoughts on each.

Why use a DEJ?

  • Double Entry Journaling improves student's comprehension, vocabulary and content retention.
  • It activates prior knowledge and presents feelings, thoughts, and questions the students have.
  • It offers connection between reading and writing as students "reply" as they write their responses.
  • Allows structure for the students as they read and record their thinking.


1. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.1

  • Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

2. CCSS>ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1

  • Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

3. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.2

  • Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details, provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.