Friday Lesson: Learning Through Writing & Reflection

From The Me I See, 2 Edition ©2009—an easy-to-use collection of journaling prompts produced by the Wood ‘N’ Barnes Collective.


Introducing Students/Clients to Journaling

The practice of reflection is what helps us maintain balance in this hectic world. By passing the art of reflection on to our students and clients we are providing them with tools for thinking, exploring, and responding to the myriad of choices, decisions, and options they face every day. The simple, open structure of The Me I See gives it great potential, we hope it will inspire you with all kinds of creative ideas.

Some suggestions for using journaling pages/prompts to encourage reflection in academic and counseling settings include:

• Adding regular ongoing journaling assignments to your curriculum to engage students in the practice of regular writing and reflection.

• Supplementing coursework to review and reinforce content covered in class or group.

• Jump-starting discussions in the classroom or group session.

• Tracking progress and growth throughout a program.

• Gathering feedback on what is working in the classroom or group. This alternative assessment tool can be used to review and reinforce content or lessons covered in class.

• Assigning as homework between individual or group counseling sessions to help clients reflect on their thoughts, feelings, and experiences, and to help them better articulate and explore treatment goals with their counselor or therapist.

• Helping identify goals, strengths, and resources and to map progress in treatment.

Using some simple, playful prompts focused on personal interests, favorite foods, movies, and activities can be a great beginning to the practice of journaling. Give students/clients a chance to become familiar and comfortable with expressing themselves on paper before engaging them in reflecting on their emotions and perceptions of themselves.

• Encourage the process of self-reflection by providing a comfortable environment.

• Remember to discuss if and how the answers will be shared, as well as acceptable/unacceptable responses to the sharing.

• Build trust and confidence by moving into the sharing process slowly. Start with personal reflection time, moving into pair-share or small groups as you sense the group is ready.

• If you decide to facilitate sharing prompts with the larger group, guide participants in setting ground rules for sharing (see Facilitation Notes).

• Many of the introductory prompts are ideal for warm-up activities and icebreakers with large groups.

• Remember to help inspire creativity and engagement by providing art supplies and collage materials to supplement the writing.

Click on the page to print.

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This lesson is compliments of The Wood ‘N’ Barnes Collective.

Thanks for joining us for Friday Lessons.

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