Journal Writing with Judy Blume: Superfudge, Freckle Juice, the Pain, and More
General Writing Prompts
In reading class, you and your students are doing a unit on books by Judy Blume or maybe you are reading Superfudge or Cool Zone With the Pain and the Great One to your class. In both of these stories and other Judy Blume books such as Freckle Juice, she touches on kid issues like dealing with a younger or older sibling, bullies, and fitting in at school. Your students will often recognize themselves in her characters, and these personal connections can lead to wonderful journal writing entries. Here are some ways to create general prompts for journal writing that will inspire your students to write their hearts out after reading during language arts class.
- Look at the chapter of the books by Judy Blume you are reading and identify which kid issues she is addressing in this section. Ask yourself if it is a situation that is typical for children you teach.
- Word the prompt for journal writing like this: In chapter __ of insert title of Judy Blume book here, Main Character A (insert name) has to or deals with (insert problem here.) Have you ever had a problem like this? If so, describe it. How did you feel? Did you fee the same as Main Character A? How did you solve your problem?
- Assure students that you will be the only one who reads their writing journal entry (unless they want to show it to someone else). You will get the best responses if children know they will not have to share with the class.
Use books by Judy Blume to encourage your students to write, talk about their feelings, and make personal connections with literature. You may not want your students to respond to a personal prompt for journal writing after every chapter as they may get burnt out. But you can choose the chapters where you think your students will be able to respond the best during reading class.
Example Journal Writing Prompts
Here are two sample prompts for journal writing for books by Judy Blume:
1. (Second or third grade) In Cool Zone With the Pain and the Great One, the Great One decides to change her name. Then everyone does it, and she decides she doesn't want to change her name anymore. Have you ever done something because you wanted to be different, and then everyone copied you? How did you feel? The Great One becomes annoyed. Did you feel the same way as the Great One? How did you solve your problem?
2. (Any elementary grade prompt) In Superfudge, Peter finds out that his parents are going to have a baby. This will be a big change in his family. Have you ever had a big change in your family? A new sibling? Getting a pet? Moving? If so, how did you feel? Was it an easy change or hard change? Did you feel like Peter? Why or why not? What did you do to solve your problem?
As with any prompt for journal writing, if your students can not think of anything to write, let them write whatever they want about the books by Judy Blume. It is more important for your students to write something than to respond correctly to the prompt.