Brimstone Journals Mentor Text: The Brimstone Journals

Koertge, Ron. The Brimstone Journals. Candlewick Press, 2001.

I chose this book, because it teaches students about real life issues that go on in the everyday world for teenagers. It teaches about stereotypes and how these stereotypes are hurtful and most of the time exaggerated characteristics about a person. I like the fact that I can use these journal pieces as a starting point for these students and have them develop writing skills that are similar to the writing styles of the journal entries they just read. My goal is, as the students read the journal entries they will be able to see the different elements that are in each of the entries, and how they are all connected to. Another goal is that students will read the entries and see the stylistic choices they chose for each entry. For example, not every entry is in complete sentences, at least a page, or written in the standard english dialect. Every entry is different, and is portraying the different characteristics of each person through writing. I believe I can get students to write creative pieces that they enjoy and be proud to share with others. Not only will they enjoy it, but they will become better writers from it.

Mini Lesson #1: Choose an Element of Author's Craft

1. Teach how to write a personal journal entry,
Discuss what are the components of the different entries from the book
How can we use those components in our own writing
Write a short journal entry as a class for an example
Have the students write their own

- Craft: The students are choosing one journal entry style to base their own entry off of. They will make up their own character and topic.

Mini Lesson #2: Choose Another Element of Author's Craft

2. Talk about the previous journal entry,
Discuss with students how the different characters connected in the brimstone journal
Pull out the class made journal and add on to it by writing as a different character
Have the students add another character to their journal and write a short entry as them

Craft: Students are looking at the writing style that they based their first journal entry off of, and looking to how the writer connected it to another journal entry and the style they used for that entry, such as a poem or short narrative entry.

Writing Assignment

Here, you will describe a writing assignment that would result from students reading this book. Identify the following characteristics of the assignment, then describe it in 4-5 sentences.

Mode (Genre)
Journal: written in first person in either poetic or short story form.
It is paper based. The students will make a journal of at least 10 different entries by the end of the unit. The students may need to do research on the computer or tablet about stereotypes and different issues that American Teenagers face today.
The teacher , classmates, to communicate with people in todays society
Beyond meeting school objectives, what is the broader goal for this piece of writing? What will writers learn about themselves and the craft of writing?
The main goal is to allow the students to grow in their writing abilities, and to be able to look at a writing style and come up with their own idea while using the same stylistic choices.
Students will be working on this project for two weeks. We will have classroom supported discussions to develop these journals, and it will be something students will write on their own.
What criteria do you plan to use to evaluate this assignment? Why? What is important for students to learn?
I will look at the students entries, and focus on seeing growth in their writing. I will look to see if the students wrote with different stylistic choices. I am looking for these things because I want students to learn how to be creative with their writing and to be able to write for different purposes and for different audiences.
The students will be creating their own Journal similar to the Brimstone Journals. The students will create at least four characters and will write at least 10 entries total. The students must use the Brimstone Journal as a format to how the journal should be written. The students should also use similes, metaphors, and personification in their entries. The students will put all of their final drafts into a real journal and decorate the cover and title the journal to represent their writing and what the journal is about.