Not only are the covers of these journals creative, but my students’ writing blew me away!  They really jumped into the 1840’s and wrote with incredible feelings.  I actually found myself smiling, laughing, and even tearing up while reading them.  They know how to touch my heart!  We started off with the read aloud, Dear Levi:  Letters from the Overland Trail by Elvira Woodruff.  Then we brainstormed hardships, friendships and things they encountered.

He wanted to make sure it looked dirty from the trail.  Love it!
These are wrinkled and the one on the right is even torn so it could look more realistic.

I loved this one!  They got ahold of the feathers, yarn and beads that we used when making dream catchers in another unit so I allowed it.  Why not?  Creativity was busting out the seams!  This student took her booklet, folded and tied it.  It may not be the neatest or most colorful, but her description of what each thing was for was precious!

I was so happy to even see my nonwriters excited about writing. Some of my most reluctant writers were writing like crazy!
If you want the directions, brainstorming ideas, and a rubric done for you, click below.

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