Why Use Journals in Preschool?
This year the children will be introduced to journal writing! Journal writing is a great tool for beginning literacy
and serves many purposes. First, journals give students a sense of ownership of his/her work! This sense of
ownership and choice in writing is a big motivator and allows writing to become more meaningful and joyful for the
students! Additionally, journal writing allows students to understand that print communicates a message, drawing
and writing differ, letters are used to form words, there are certain conventions in print, and writing is purposeful
and has an audience. Furthermore, the students can begin to understand that writing consists of understanding the
connection between sound and symbol correspondence and writing flows from left to write and top to bottom.
Importantly, preschool children are at the very beginning of the writing process. As a result, their ‘writing’ will
consist of role play writing- pictures along with scribbles and invented symbols- here they are assigning a message
to their symbols. The teacher then acts as a scribe for the student and has the children help sound out letters and
words. This modeling will show the students the many purposes and procedures of writing. As the year progresses
and journal writing is constantly modeled, children will enter the next phase and begin to connect their drawings with
random letters. In later phases, typically seen in kindergarten, students begin using invented spelling and basic
sentence structures. Just like children learn to walk by taking their fist stumbling steps, reading and writing is
the same way- the students need practice, practice, practice. I can’t wait to be part of such an exciting phase in
your child’s life!