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Stop the Bullying in Life and in Young Adult Literature


Double-Entry Journals and Most Important Quote

Lesson Contents: 


According to Vacca and Vacca (1999), a double-entry journal is a versatile adaptation of the response journal. It allows students to record dual entries that are conceptually related. In doing so, students juxtapose their thoughts and feelings in reaction to the prompts provided by the teacher or passages students select for a particular entry. For this activity, ask students to locate significant passages as they read the book and mark pages with sticky notes. Later, ask students to divide sheets of notebook paper in half lengthwise. In the left-hand column of the journal, prompt students to copy the significant quotes or passages from the text and document them with the page number. In the right-hand column, the students record their reactions, interpretations, and responses to the text segments they have selected. When they have completed ten double entries, ask students to select the most important quote of the book and write a reflective paper or reflective journal entry on it. This should be a quote that they feel is fundamental to the protagonist's response to bullying. See the sample double-entry journal below for Jodee Blanco's Please Stop Laughing at Me... One Woman's Inspirational Story (2003).

Double-Entry Journal

Passage Reaction/Interpretation
"...Then, Kat, Dara, Jackie, and several other students came at me from behind. They grabbed my hands and feet and dragged me across the parking lot behind the main campus, chanting "We're going to kill you." They started kicking me and spitting on me. They ripped open my book bag and threw the contents all over the ground. Oddly, I wasn't frightened. Being killed held the promise of relief." (pg. 67) The most disturbing part of this particular quote was the last sentence. And thinking about what Jodee went through, I begin to wonder about all of my peers that I saw teased. I wonder now what they thought when someone was picking on them. Or even worse, when I picked on them. I am going to be honest--I was a bully. I did not go to the lengths that Jodee's tormenters went to. I made snide comments that I am now embarrassed for. I am truly sorry for any hurt that I caused someone and think that in part I did it because I was picked on and teased as well. It hurt, and I wonder what other people do to escape their tormentors and what other people think about being bullied.