September 12 Journal Writing

Teacher: Linda Templeton

Overview: After viewing hours of television coverage of the September 11 attack on America, this teacher had to gather herself to enter her classroom the next day.† Life in had to continue.† This journal writing activity could be adapted to help ease the transition from any difficult event, local or national, and to make the classroom experience relevant to studentsí lives.†Click here for extended version of this lesson with student artifact and teacher reflection.

Materials:††††† Paper, pen

Time:† 30 minutes to an hour

Instructional sequence:

1.     As students arrived in class on September 12, 2001, I wrote the journal topic on the topic chart: In light of yesterday's events in America, write down the thoughts and emotions that you are feeling at this moment.† I continued with my daily routine of taking roll, signing absentee slips, basically getting the day organized while my students wrote.† Usually students are given about ten minutes to journal write, but this day was different.† As I walked around the room, I noticed that after ten minutes most of my students still had pen to paper and did not appear to be close to stopping.†

2.     I proceeded to begin our discussion (as normally done after journal writing), allowing students to share their thoughts and feelings.† We did not solve any problems that day, but we did begin the healing process.

Evaluation:† This activity requires no formal evaluation.

Click here for extended version of this lesson with student artifact and teacher reflection.


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