Double-Entry Journals

Strategy 12 By Kaitlyn Cox

WHAT is a Double-Entry Journal?

Double-Entry Journals are a type of reading log in which students divide their journal page into two columns. In the left column, students pick out important quotes from the text as they read. In the right column, students record their responses to said quotes. These columns can be labeled "Quotes" or "From the Text" on the left column, & "Comments", "Reflections", or "My Thinking" for the right column. A student's reflection could be anything from what the quote meant to them, questions they may hold, reactions, etc.

GRADE Levels Targeted:

Grades 3-5 OR 6-8
Big image

WHY Should I Use It?

  • Double-Entry journals allow students to structure & record their thinking about a text that they're reading, as they're reading.
  • The quotes that students choose to record allow teachers to see what they find important about the text.
  • Students' responses in the right column of their journal show their understanding of what they've read.

HOW Do I Use It?

  1. Design journal pages. Have students divide their journal page into two columns, and label them "Quotes" and "Reactions" (or whatever you choose).
  2. Copy quotes into journals. This step should be conducted as students read or immediately after; students pull important or significant quotes from their reading to record in the left column.
  3. Reflect on the quotes. Students re-read the quotes they've selected on the left column and respond to those quotes in the right column. These responses could include justifying why they chose the quote, their immediate reaction to the quote, background knowledge, questions, etc. *sometimes it is better if students shares their quotes with a reading buddy/in conversation before completing the right column.

WHEN Should I Use It?

  • In place of other types of reading logs
  • Can be used with different column headings such as "Reading Notes" (left) & "Connections" (right) to make links and connections to events within the literary work
  • Adaptations for younger students: use this double-entry format for prediction journals with the left column labeled "Predictions" & the right labeled "What Really Happened" (In this format, pictures may be used in the place of writing)
  • Can be used for note taking when reading nonfiction or content-area textbooks, with main ideas summarized in the lefthand "Notes" column, and comments of the significance of these ideas in the righthand "Reflections" column

STANDARDS Supported:

Double-Entry Journals support these Common Core State Standards for Reading: Literature:

  • Students explain what a text quote says and draw inferences from it.
  • Students use textual evidence to support their story analysis.
  • Students analyze how dialogue and events influence a story's development.