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Independent Reading Journal Prompts


You may only use each journal prompt once and all responses must be written in a complete paragraph. You will need to complete 5 of these for each book you read. For each journal you will be assigned a grammar element to identify in your writing, which you will code base on a rubric.


  1. What is the problem or conflict of your book? Which characters are involved? How do you think the problem or conflict might be solved?

         Start out: The conflict or problem in my book is…


  1. What is the setting of your story? Remember that setting is both place and time of the story. Your book will most likely not tell you exactly when and where it takes place, but you can find clues in the story. Is this a modern story (computers, video games, shopping malls, etc.)? Does it take place in a city, suburb, or farm area? Be sure to tell the clues that give the setting of your story.

         Start out: My story takes place… I can tell because…


  1. Describe a minor character in your book. Identify the character by name and describe him/her. What is the character’s part in the story? How does this character feel about the main character and vice-versa? Use examples from the story.

      Start out: A minor character in my book is…


  1. Are the events in your book realistic or unrealistic? Could they really happen, are they fantasy, or a mix of both? Explain using specific examples from the book.

         Start out: My book is realistic/unrealistic because…


  1. Explain how a character in your book reminds you of yourself or someone you know. For example, do you or a friend or relative, like some of the same things, have some of the same interests, or have similar problems as a character in your book?

         Start out: The character, __________, reminds me of __________. This is because…


  1. Tell why you chose your book to read. What factors went into your decision (interesting cover, back cover, recommendation)?

         Start out: I chose this book because…


  1. How does your book begin? First describe the events that start your story. Then tell if this is a good, effective way for the author to start the book. Explain why or why not. What would you change?

         Start out: My book begins… This is a good/bad way to start the story because…


  1. Who is the main character in your book? What is this character like? Tell the character’s name, age, appearance, friends, personality, and problems…

         Start out: The main character of my book is…



  1. Would you like to live like the characters in your book? Explain how they live (the situation) and why or why not you would like to live like that.

         Start out: I would/would not like to live like my characters because…


  1. If you were the main character in your book, how would you handle the situation he or she faces in the story? Be sure to briefly describe the situation before telling how you would handle it.

         Start out: If I were the main character in my book I would…


  1. What do you think of the title of your book? Is it a good title? “Does it fit your book? Why do you think the author chose this title? Explain how the title fits the book or make up a better title and tell why the new title is better.

         Start out: The title of my book is… This is a good/bad title because… The author chose this title          because… -or- I think______ is a better title because…


  1. Predict what will happen next in your book. To do this you must briefly explain the situation, make your prediction, and tell why you predict his.

         Start out: The situation of my book is…


  1. Could your story take place in Miami or another nearby suburb, or is the setting (time and place) of your book definite and not similar to Miami? Explain.

         Start out: I think the story…


  1. Who is the antagonist (bad guy) in your book? Describe this character and the way they “oppose”, or work against, the main character.

         Start out: The antagonist of my book is…


  1. Which character(s) in your book do you like the least? Name this character, tell what part they play in the story, and describe why you don’t like the character.

         Start out: I least like the character…


  1. How did the main character in your book change or grow from the beginning to end?

         Start out: The main character changed…


  1. Was there a moment when the author made us feel the most suspense? When?

         Start out: The made me feel the most suspense…


  1. What hints did the author give us about the how the story would end?

         Start out: The hints the author gave…


  1. What caused the story to end the way it did: the character’s luck, hard work, skill, or a bright idea? What is more important in real life?

         Start out: The story ended the way it did because…


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