Assign this journal task when you want the students to summarize in theirr own words a story, chapter, or some new learning that they've thought about during one lesson.
Set the Stage:
What I say when assigning this: "Before you write anything down on the next blank page of your journal, you need to draw a box for a future Mr. Stick illustration. The box needs to be approximately 3" x 3". Please draw a box somewhere on the top, bottom, left, or right side of your blank page now. [Students draw boxes.]
"After we are done learning today, I will be having you summarize in your own words. After you surround the box you've drawn with words and ideas, you will need to illustrate your writing in the box.
"Since this is just a summary, I will forgive you for spelling harder words, but no one is allowed to spell proper names from the story or text incorrectly. If you need to look back at the text before putting the word down, then do it!"
This is tenth-grader Jayme K's summary of the story of Odysseus and the monster Scylla, which we read about in one period. To ensure that they summarized in their own words, I asked them to retell the story from the protagonist's point-of-view, which was different than the third-person account we had read. If you click on the picture below, you can view it larger so you can print it on an 8.5" x 11" page.
I'm Looking for more Samples:
If you use this Mr. Stick journal task with your students (grades 4-12) and end up with an example that you believe I can feature here, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am especially looking for samples on topics other than mythology! If you photograph/scan a journal page that I end up featuring here, I will send you one of the NNWP's Print Publications as my way of saying "Thanks!"