As they read literature or informational text, your students will record textual evidence, analyze story elements, make inferences, and apply critical thinking skills. Students use these independent reading response journals to summarize, reflect and record notes each day. Every genre packet includes standards-based questions for ten days. Booklets in this bundle include biography/autobiography, fantasy, historical fiction, mystery, realistic fiction, science fiction, and nonfiction. The reading response questions are open-ended enough to differentiate for a variety of middle school novels and nonfiction books.
Question sets are available in two formats: whole page for distribution one day at a time, or fourth-page to be folded and stapled into a student booklet. Either way, thought provoking questions are provided for two weeks of reading.
Independent reading response prompts include:
- Compare settings
- Identify the narrator
- Describe a character
- Analyze imagery
- Identify conflict
- Generate questions for the author/subject
- Evaluate important quotations
- Use graphic organizers such as KWL and Venn diagrams
- Choose key vocabulary words
- Make connections to other texts, current events, and ideas
First, choose whether you will distribute full page handouts or have students create a mini-book. For full page handouts, simply print as many copies as needed of each page. These handouts also include editable text boxes in the header so that you can change the title or assign specific pages.
For mini-books, pages 15-20 are formatted for double-sided printing. Print or copy pages 15/16, 17/18, and 19/20 back-to-back.
You can then assemble the mini books yourself or have students do this part. Cut each page along the solid horizontal line. (If you have access to a paper slicer, this is an easy time saver for you!) Stack the half-page sheets so that page 1 is facing up and is at the bottom of the stack, with 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11 above. Then straighten the pages and staple on the dotted line. Fold and enjoy your booklets!
How to Use the Resources in this Independent Reading Journal Bundle
Whether your entire class is reading the same novel, doing literature circles with novel sets, or all choosing their own books for independent reading, this bundle will work for you. The daily response prompts align so that students answer similar questions, even for different genres. For example, students will discuss their books’ setting on Day 1 for all the fiction genres. (Day 1 is about text structure for nonfiction).
Have students complete page 4 in class before beginning their books. Distribute pages 5-14 one day at a time. If students are reading a class novel together, you may pre-plan which pages to assign each day and edit those pages at the top before photocopying. This format also makes it easy to differentiate for students who need fewer response tasks.
Have students complete page 1 of the independent reading mini-book before they begin reading. If students are in book clubs or literature circles where they will read the same book, they should first agree upon stopping points for each day to avoid spoilers.
See What’s in this Independent Reading Bundle
You can take a closer look at each of the genre booklets here.
Preview a Free Sample
Try out the mini-book version of the Nonfiction Reading Journal in your classroom.