Double-Entry Journal

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40 Best-practices
Instructional Strategies

Background: Double-Entry Journals help students read between and beyond the lines of a text. One side of the entry encourages students to record details from the text. The other side of the entry invites students to interact with ideas in the text.

Procedures: Students draw a vertical line down the page to create two columns for writing. In the left column, students summarize details from the text. In the right column, students write responses to the details summarized. Responses include: Text-to-Text, Text-to-Self, and Text-to-the-World Connections.

Examples: Text-to-Text Connections describe responses that compare and contrast the reading selection with other articles or books. “This article reminded me of a magazine I read the other day…” Text-to-Self Connections describe responses that compare and contrast the reading selection with a reader’s personal experiences. “This article reminded me of the time that I…” Text-to-the-World Connections describe responses that relate to what a reader learns about life. “This article made me think about how change affects interdependent systems.”

Variations: Double-Entry Journals can be used in a variety of ways. Students can record cause and effect relationships in the two columns. Vocabulary words can be listed in one column with definitions recorded in the other. Students can list pre-reading questions in the first column. In the second column they can record details from the text to answer the questions. In one column students can record predictions prior to reading a text. In the second column, they can confirm or revise their predictions based on details from the text.

Reading Strategies: Identify Main Ideas and Support Details, Summarize Information, Paraphrase Ideas, Synthesize Information, Make Generalizations, Make Connections, Build Vocabulary, Draw Conclusions, Activate Prior Knowledge