Exploring Emotions and developing literacy skills through journal writing with PY6

Exploring Emotions and developing literacy skills through journal writing with PY6
Jennifer Wallace

As part of their third Unit ‘Where we are in place and time’ PY6 students worked on self-expression literacy skills in the form of diary writing, which were then applied to an investigation where they imagined a diary of a famous explorer.

Since September, students have been writing letters to themselves at the start of each unit, describing where they are in their learning and aspirations for the next few weeks. They will unseal their letters and read them during the last week of the school year. For their third unit, students had the additional task of keeping a wellbeing journal for one week to record their emotional health, write daily goals and reflect on how each day felt.

These activities were designed to practise diary writing –a subjective and emotional response to the question ‘Where am I in place and time?’ The class brainstorm for unit 3 led to lines of inquiry that focused on human migration. Students studied the challenges of migration, migration maps, and why people migrate: including education, economy and family.

The conversation then led on towards the role of explorers. Students chose to research and present on a famous explorer of their choice. They also wrote the explorer’s diary, drawing from their research but also including an imagined, subjective response to their discoveries. This built upon the work on emotions they had already done in their wellbeing journals.

These themes are now flowing into the current unit ‘How the World Works’, as some students have chosen to integrate ideas around migration and exploration into their lines of enquiry for the PYP exhibition.