Double-Entry Journal

8 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT: use a double-entry journal to collect evidence to support their claims about a character changing over time.

Big Idea

How are we going to collect our evidence? By using the Double-Entry Journal, of course!

Guiding Question

5 minutes

Before we revised the curriculum, one of the original objectives of this unit for our district was perspective and point of view. In the original unit, student read a novel (last year it was Holes) and wrote a letter from one character to another, and then that character responded. They had to use the voice of the character, plus they had to comprehend the events of the story. It was cute, but we thought there were better ways to teach it throughout the year. 

Anyway, I'm saying all of this because we are still required to teach those standards, and this Guiding Question gets them thinking about how they perceive themselves and how others might perceive them. Also, it reminds them of adjectives and their uses--yay! Here's the student example.


35 minutes

Just thinking about this Character Analysis Essay freaks me out. Using text from a book to support an argument is something I didn't do in my academic career until I was in college. So, now I'm looking for ways to break it into tiny, attainable chunks so that the kids will get it. Having them fill out a Double-Entry Journal is a start. 

Here's some student work that shows how this looks at the end of each day, and this double entry journal is the exemplar described in the video below--a student who has done really well with it!

Work Time

20 minutes

For the Work Time, students still had to finish the exercises they started in yesterday's lesson. They were asked to read an excerpt from Walter Dean Myer's book, Bad Boy, and analyze Myer's two very different teachers. When they finished, they were asked to take on that specific teacher's "voice" and to read a letter warning the next teacher Walter will have about his abilities and his behavior. Here is a clip of how that went:

Here is the Bad Boy excerpt and activities from our SpringBoard worktext.

Wrap Up

5 minutes

Students were asked to use their reflection stems to show me what they've learned for the lesson. Here's a student's reflection that is a great example of tying all the lesson elements together.