YW Activity Plan: Writing Meaningful Journal Entries

Prepared by Laura Durham

PURPOSE:

Competent writing is a valuable and highly sought-after skill in the professional world.

Journal writing is an excellent way to practice that skill and record your own personal story.

OBJECTIVES:

To motivate a desire to develop writing skills and express feeling and detail through experience and story.

PERSONAL PROGRESS:

*Individual Worth #3

PLAN AHEAD:

Talk to the girls about journal writing. Ask them how they record what happens day to day. Talk about online journals, blogs, Twitter, and Facebook. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages to the different formats (immediate feedback vs. privacy). Introduce the week’s activity of journal writing and tell them they will be writing in physical journals for the sake of the exercise, but there are many methods to writing personal thoughts and stories. Ask them to bring a journal or a notebook to the activity. Bring composition books for those who don’t have a journal or end up forgetting theirs.

Optional:

Precede this activity with decorating composition notebooks for journal writing which might help get them excited about writing.

If you have YW leaders who are avid journal keepers (or were), invite them to bring their journals so they can share an entry or two from when they were young or maybe even a more recent story. Make sure you have a variety of sentiments (something meaningful, spiritual, humorous, etc.)

OR

If you do not have YW leaders with this particular skill, find some journals from other prominent church or historical leaders. You could also invite a ward member who is a good writer, or ask your ward’s Family History representative to share something (Family Historians do more than make you feel guilty about not doing your genealogy!)

INTRODUCTION:

Explain how journal writing is an important skill and journal entries are a valuable resource for you and posterity. Have the prepared YW leaders or ward members read an entry or two. Discuss what is valuable about what they wrote and what made it interesting. Explain how writing every day is a good habit, but not every day yields meaningful experiences. Tonight they will learn a different approach to writing in their journals.

WRITING ACTIVITY:

Introduce two of the following journal prompts (or come up with some of your own). Invite them to choose one they want to write about. Give them 2-3 minutes. Afterward, ask for two or three volunteers to read aloud and share. Allow time for discussion about what others liked about their entry.  Repeat with additional prompts as many times as you see fit.

1. Did you have a favorite restaurant growing up?

2. What were you most scared of when you were little? Why?

3. *Write about the qualities you admire in another person you know.

4. Write about a day you spent with a grandparent.

5. *Write about one or two of your spiritual gifts

6. What was your favorite toy growing up?

7. Were you named after someone? Who?

8. What is your favorite book?

9. Describe your bedroom.

10. Write about a time you got lost.

11. What is your greatest accomplishment?

RESOURCES:

The Importance of Keeping a Journal by Rachel Bruner

The Importance of Good Writing Skills in the Workplace by Renee O’Farrell

Importance of Essay Writing in University Learning by Soheila Battaglia

SCRIPTURES TO SHARE:

3 Ne. 23:6–13

Habbukkuk 2:2

TALKS, QUOTES:

Why Write It? – Brad Wilcox

“Get a notebook, my young folks, a journal that will last through all time, and maybe the angels may quote from it for eternity,”  – President Spencer W. Kimball

“Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.”  – Jane Yolen

 

PRINTABLE VERSION HERE

 

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