Reading Response Logs are a great way to engage with what you’re reading, whether you’re reading for fun at home or reading a text for school. Similar to a journal, a Reading Response Log allows you to ask questions, predict outcomes and wonder aloud about the material you’re reading. A Reading Response Log can be created in a variety of ways – you may choose to use the computer and keep digital records of your entries, or perhaps you have a special notebook or journal that you’d like to respond in. Lined paper in a folder is always an option too! Regardless of where you respond, a Reading Response Log will definitely improve your understanding and engagement with literature.
There is essentially no right or wrong way to keep a Reading Response Log (although your teacher might ask you to follow certain guidelines). One suggestion is to record ideas (or responses) to the text as you are inspired or as ideas strike you. Try not to read more than 8-10 pages or a chapter before writing a response – and remember, it’s best to write entries as often as possible.
A Reading Response Log can prompt you to record observations, thoughts, questions and anecdotes related to what you’re reading. Use the log to reflect on how you respond to the characters and events in the text. When you’ve finished reading, take time to review your responses and think about your entries – this process will help you remember the literary elements such as themes, plot, characters, settings and devices.
Use your Reading Response Log to:
– Interpret the author’s message
– Give your opinion (and reasons for it)
– Connect your own experiences to the novel
– Retell or summarize the story
– Analyze characters
– Ask questions
– Make prediction
– Make connections between the story and society (i.e. history, politics, people etc)