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Anne Frank: Turning Pages - Journal Writing


"...I don't want to set down a series of bald facts in a diary like most people do, but I want this diary itself to be my friend, and I shall call my friend Kitty!"
-- Anne Frank (June 20, 1942, first entry for that day)


  • 'Turning Pages' handout.
  • Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl.
  • Other diaries and journals from the bibliography and other sources
  • Materials for compiling/publishing the school journal
  • Optional: Computer hardware and software for publishing

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will know the characteristics of journals. Students will use writing strategies to start a journal. Students will be acquainted with journals by famous and everyday people of the past and present.

Instructional Procedures


See preface material from 'Anne Frank in the World, 1929 - 1945 Teacher Workbook.'

Have students read the article 'Turning Pages.'

Discuss the idea of starting or maintaining a school journal as suggested in the teacher's guide for 'Turning Pages.' Assemble materials for students to use in beginning a school journal. Materials could be a notebook, a stapled sheaf of papers, or a computer disk. Establish guidelines and a schedule for the journal writing. Choose one or more themes. Plan for several 'volumes' during the year. How much time should each volume cover? Negotiate a journal location with the student council and/or administrators. Decide how the project could continue from year to year. Start writing! To begin, every student could write an entry for the first day and the class could select the most representative example or create a composite from several selections.

Have students prepare the first volume of their journal for 'publication.' Final tasks might include a cover, dedication, pagination, or illustrations. Make copies to keep in the classroom and at other sites. Deliver Volume 1 for display or safekeeping. Celebrate!

Closure: Display the school journal in the school library/media center or in a display case near the main office. Ask to place a duplicate at a local public library.

Have students compile a list of journal authors that can be found in the school and/or public library or a local bookstore. When they write to favorite authors have them ask whether the writer also keeps a journal. Have students poll school staff to find out who might be keeping a journal or wrote a diary as a teenager. Would any of these people come and read an excerpt to the class?

Visit a historical society or invite someone from a historical society to help students learn more about their collection. Would they like a copy of the school or class journal?

Discuss the quote from Anne Frank. What do students think about the author's thoughts?


Combine these activities with ideas from the Visit - Related Curriculum, even if students aren't going to the Exhibit. Have students role play the journal writers quoted in the article and identify their geographical locations on a map. Create a class journal, with every student taking a turn at recording for a day. Use the computer to publish the journal.

Created: 02/10/1997
Updated: 02/05/2018