Sharing Materials: We collect junk journal material throughout the year. We have a bin in the classroom that we add calendars, old wrapping paper, envelopes, etc. to throughout the year. These are things we make available to students during junk journal time as not everyone will bring materials from home.
Students are encouraged to place material they have brought and would like to share in one pile at the front of the room. Many students have things that are personal they do not want to share and these stay in their bags. We have scored some great finds through sharing items students have brought, for example international newspapers, wrapping paper, old game pages (ie Yatzee pads).
Watch for students who feel pressured to share their materials and do not want to.
We spend a lot of the day traveling around the room admiring and encouraging. If someone has done something amazing we ask the student if we can share it with the class. Then we hold it up and say “Look at this great idea!” We talk a lot about copying and sharing ideas. In our room “Imitation is the highest form of flattery” rules the day! No one copies lousy ideas.
If you have a limited amount of time, chunk the journal making components by make the covers one day, a few pages in a second lesson, folding pockets another day, etc.
Once the actual journal is made, you can add pages as you cover writing styles. For example, we made Limerick pages for St. Patrick’s Day after we had written limericks.
Every province has different curriculum outcomes but junk journals are perfect for cross curricular integration.
Language Arts – creative writing, poetry, reflection
Art – mixed media,
Science – upcycling, recycling
Math – measurement
There are many ways you can use the journal for writing:
Poetry (found poetry, limericks, haiku, concrete poetry, etc.).
You could make a junk journal just for poetry and have a page for each type of poetry. Poetry can be written from the found items that create each page.Poetry can be placed in pockets and in flaps.
Stories can be placed in pockets
Creative letters can be put into envelopes
Journals of the Year:For each holiday and classroom event, create a journal page recording the event.Themes could include the seasons, holidays, lists of activities, the classroom weekly schedule, special guests, school concerts, etc.
Document new art techniques by writing the instructions and providing a sample on each journal page. For example, if you are learning about watercolor and salt resist have the students paint the page using water color and salt resist. Once it is dry, write the instructions for the technique on the page. It becomes a how to book for students and they have learned to write instructions ;)
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