Our Journals

Our Journals!

Uncle Sam’s Five Top Tips

 1. Who should keep a journal?
   Everyone! Famous and ordinary people write down as much detail as they want. For example, George Washington’s diary entries are sometimes very short, while John Adams frequently wrote several paragraphs describing everything he did.  Anne Frank, a teenager during World War II, wrote a diary in a Secret Annex.
2. What is a journal?
   A journal is whatever you want it to be, plain or fancy…
* a place to record a special historic or personal event
* a place to ponder your opinions and feelings
* a place to explore your dreams, goals, and what’s important to you
 3. When can you keep a journal?
   Try to write everyday, even if it’s only a few sentences. Soon you’ll pick up fluency and write more. Write before bedtime or as soon as you finish your homework. Write at least once a week. Always take your journal along on trips and write in the car or at the end of each day.
 4. Why should you keep a journal?
   It’s FUN! It’s your private time to think on paper. It’s an excellent way to get to know yourself better. Don’t try to record everything. Put your arms around an idea or event and relish its place in your life. Your journal may seem ordinary at first, but in time it will gain value. You can look back and read about your family, friends, school, vacations, and big or little events. And journals are a great source of story ideas!
 5. Where can you write in a journal?
   The best place is always where you can UNPLUG! Yes, unplug yourself from all the rush of the day and think quietly. Also, unplug all the noise and distractions around you – the TV, computer, radio – gather your thoughts. Maybe there’s a place that’s always a quiet writing spot. Keep your journal in a safe place.

William Bradford’s Journal

Of Plimoth Plantation

Paul reads a facsimile of the journal, Massachusetts State Library

See William Bradford’s journal facsimile and listen to Beth explain its adventure.

“And we drank our first New England water with as much delight as ever we drank in all our lives.”
“There were no friends to welcome them, nor inn to entertain or refresh their weather beaten bodys, no houses or much less towns to repaire to. What could not sustaine them but ye spirit of God and his grace?”
“Ought not the children of these fathers rightly say: Our fathers were Englishmen which came over this great ocean, and were ready to perish in the wilderness; but they cried unto ye Lord, and he heard their voice, and looked on their adversitie.”
“From my years young in days of youth, God did make known to me his truth, And call’d me from my native place For to enjoy the means of grace. In wilderness he did me guide, And in strange lands for me provide. In fears and wants; through weal and woe, A Pilgrim passed I to and fro.”


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