Personal Response Journal Topics


These topics require students to put their personal experiences into words. While there is less creativity, students are turning mental images and feelings into words.

  1. Think of a teacher, relative, or adult that you respect and want to impress. What is it about that person that makes you want to do well for them?
  2. Describe a time your hard work paid off.
  3. A place you are or were afraid of.
  4. Would you rather live in another era or culture? Explain.
  5. Do want a funeral? Explain.
  6. Have you ever felt lost? Literally or figuratively? Explain.
  7. What is your best memory from elementary school?
  8. What is your best memory from middle school?
  9. What is your best memory from high school?
  10. Picture the meal at Christmas (or any holiday). Now focus on one of your five senses: see, smell, hear, taste, and touch. Describe what that sense experiences throughout the meal.
  11. Describe how you feel when you are at the dentist’s office.
  12. How would do you think your parents views would change if they lived your life for one day?
  13. How many places have you lived? Describe the place you remember the most. Pick one room of the house that you remember the most and describe it.
  14. How do you get home from school? What mode of transportation do you take? Describe a typical trip.
  15. Have you ever learned a new skill? Describe what you learned and the effort it took to learn it.
  16. If I could live anywhere I’d live in ____________. Why?
  17. What is your ideal job? Why?
  18. Describe your classroom in detail.
  19. If you could step back in time to re-live one day, what would you do differently?
  20. Would you like to know when you were going to die? Why?
  21. Describe yourself when you are 25? (35,45,55)
  22. What was the most memorable moment of last year? Write about that moment or draw a picture of it.
  23. Describe how this artwork makes you feel.
  24. Describe your bedroom. How does it describe you?
  25. How do you think computers will be used in 20 years?
  26. The way I am like ____________ is ____________.
  27. Are you a night owl or a morning person? Explain why and what you like doing at night or early morning.
  28. Tell about a time you had a bad babysitter.
  29. Write a history of your hairstyles.
  30. What do you do well?
  31. What made your best teacher so good?
  32. What made your worst teacher so bad?
  33. Is war ever justified? When? Explain.
  34. How would you spend a windfall of $10,000?
  35. If you could spend an hour with the president, what are 10 questions you would like to ask him?
  36. What makes you unique, or at least different from, any other person?
  37. My best quality is…
  38. My worst quality is…
  39. Is there one place that you love to go? Describe your favorite place.
  40. Write about a difficult decision you had to make.
  41. What has been the greatest success in your life this year?
  42. What has been the greatest failure in your life this year?
  43. What are three qualities you admire in others?
  44. What do you want to be when you grow up? What appeals to you about this profession?
  45. Write about a time you cheated and got away with it. How did you feel?
  46. Describe your favorite band. What makes them so great?
  47. Write about your favorite vacation.
  48. What do you like and dislike about elderly people?
  49. Do you believe in ghosts or spirits? Why or why not?
  50. Write about a time you had high hopes for something and got let down.
  51. Write about at time you were embarrassed.
  52. What has been your favorite book? Explain.
  53. What has been your favorite movie? Explain.
  54. Do you like movies or books more? Explain.
  55. An experience that taught me something important about myself.
  56. The most difficult thing I ever had to do.
  57. The best thing that ever happened to me.
  58. The worst thing that ever happened to me.
  59. The funniest thing that ever happened to me.
  60. The saddest thing that ever happened to me.
  61. The first time I felt grown up.
  62. An experience that changed me the most.
  63. The most ridiculous thing that ever happened to me.
  64. Describe a time you felt … Aggressive, Angry, Bashful, Caring, Cheerful, Committed, Confident, Cruel, Depressed, Devoted, Dishonest, Disillusioned, Engaged, Friendly, Frightened, Furious, Hardworking, Hesitant, Lazy, Lonely, Loving, Nervous, Open, Sad, Scheming, Self-centered, Selfish, Sneaky, Supportive, Thrilled, or Upset

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