Five Fun Summer Journal Ideas

Kids often embrace the idea of a summer journal because it is a nice way to capture some summer experiences and it has a finite end – the end of summer is the end of the journal. Here are three fun ideas.

Nature Journal
Use a book with unlined pages (or half-lined pages) for a nature journal. Use the journal to record interesting things found in nature. Each entry should include the date and time, the place where the object was found, comments about the object, and a realistic sketch. Other possibilities include labels for the sketch, a poem about the object, and reflections about emotions, thoughts, and ideas that the object inspires. Pencils work well for a nature journal

Photo Journal
A photo journal is great for kids who love to take pictures. In a photo journal, pictures from the day are used as writing prompts. To make a photo journal entry, take several pictures throughout the day. Choose 1-3 pictures to print. Glue the pictures into the journal and write about each one (this could also be done in PowerPoint or on a blog instead of in a book). Encourage children to go beyond simply writing a sentence or two about what is going on in the picture. Feelings about what is happening, what happened before and after the picture, and opinions about what happened are all good for a photo journal.

Comic/Graphic Journal
This is a journal that is done all in a comic book style with frames that include pictures, captions, and speech/thought bubbles. This is great for aspiring manga artists, but even if a child just wants to draw stick figures, this can be a fun and useful form of expression. You can use the chart function in Word to make a grid of 6 or 9 even frames per page or just allow children to draw their own.

Journal Scrapbook
A Journal Scrapbook is a combination of whatever feels right and fun – words, sketches, printed-out photos, photos from magazines, ticket stubs, comics…whatever gets the idea across. Many children enjoy this kind of journal.

Fill-in-the-Blank Guided Journals
You can buy these in every flavor imaginable. My favorites are the ones that are as open-ended as possible. One of these is Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith, and of course, there are always my Journal Jumble pages for mix-and-match fun.

Journal Mix and Match

Got another fun journal idea? Please share!

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4 thoughts on “Five Fun Summer Journal Ideas”

  1. I love all the different journal ideas! It's super helpful for students that are in summer school! Thank you for sharing and participating in the big giveaway!

  2. Rachel Lynette

    I did journals for a summer school writing program once, so had that in the back of my head. Glad you found the post useful!

  3. Mrs. Schroeder

    I just found your site through TBA…it is just wonderful. I did a bit of a twist this summer with journal-ing. I started a blog for my 4th grade daughter. She has loved doing book reviews and general post about her summer. Thanks for being such a great resource for teachers! I also am your newest follower:)
    The Schroeder Page

  4. Rachel Lynette

    A blog – what a great idea! I had not thought of a blog for an elementary student, but it makes perfect sense. My son did literary review blog for his high school senior project.

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