Assign this journal task when you're about to read a short story or a chapter from a novel and want the students to create a page (or two) in their journal that represents the story or chapter. Invite your students to use any ideas from this journal activity to create a rough draft for an upcoming writers workshop.
With this activity, students are to first design a cave wall's hieroglyphics that represent the big ideas or events from the story/chapter they have just read. Next, they are to write sentences beneath each picture which explain what is going on in each hieroglyphic.
Set the Stage:
What I say when assigning this: "Students, today you need to pretend that it is thousands of years after the story (or chapter) has been written. You need to imagine that you are an archeologist who has discovered an ancient set of hieroglyphics that were created to honor this story thousands of years ago when it was written. In your journal, you need to--first--sketch the hieroglyphics from the wall of the cave so that you have a copy of them. Next, you need to--using your best archeologist's voice--write two or three sentences beneath each picture that explains what is going on in the hieroglyphics. Your page(s) needs to include enough hieroglyphics to represent the entire story (or chapter) you have read.
"You may want to make some rough sketches of the hieroglyphics on scratch paper before doing a 'final draft' for your journal's pages. If you have a rough draft sketch, you can place it underneath your journal page and trace it.
"I expect all character's names and other proper nouns from the story to be spelled correctly."
One of my tenth graders--Jeff M.--created an awesome two-page spread that showed all thirteen labors of Hercules. Below is one of the two pages I Xeroxed from his journal. If you click on the image 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!"