Responding in your Reader Response Journal



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Responding in your Reader Response Journal
Dear _________________,
This year, we will be writing letters to each other about books, reading, writers, and writing. Our letters will give us a chance to share our thoughts, feelings, reactions, and questions about the ideas, actions, characters, settings, plot, themes, and other elements in books. You can't be wrong in your responses! Let me hear your voice.


  • Write in your response journal once each week. Your due date each week is: ________

  • Write the prompt # in the top right corner, along with the date of each new entry.

  • Write the title and author of the book on the top line of a new, clean sheet of paper.

Below is a list of prompts, questions, and suggested responses from which to choose. To be sure that you are responding and thinking about your reading in many different ways, you may only use each prompt once. Cross out the number once you’ve responded. Happy Reading!


Eager to read your letter,
Sentence Starters:


  1. I wonder what this means...

  2. I really don’t understand the part when...

  3. I really like/dislike this idea because...

  4. This character reminds me of somebody I know because...

  5. This character reminds me of myself because...

  6. This character is like (name of character) in (title of book) because...

  7. I think this setting is important because...

  8. This scene reminds me of a similar scene in (title of book) because...

  9. I like/dislike this author’s writing because....

  10. This part is very realistic/unrealistic because....

  11. I think the relationship between _______and _______ is interesting because...

  12. This section makes me think about ___________, because...

  13. I like/dislike (name of character) because...

  14. This situation reminds me of a similar situation in my own life. It happened when...

  15. The character I most admire is ________ because...

  16. If I were (name of character) at this point, I would...

  17. I wish _______________ had happened…

  18. I wish the author had included….

  19. My opinion of (name of character) is…

  20. My opinion of the illustrations, table, and figures is…

  21. As I read, I felt…

  22. Questions I have after reading are…

  23. Something I learned from my reading…

  24. A prediction I have for what may happen next is ______________. I think these things will happen because…(What details in the section support your prediction?)

  25. I began to think of…

  26. I love the way…

  27. I can’t believe...

  28. I wonder why...

  29. I noticed...

  30. I think....

  31. I was furious when…

  32. I’m not sure about...

  33. My favorite character is _______________ because...(tell why)

  34. I like the way the author...

  35. When I don’t know a word I...

  36. I felt sad when...

  37. I wish that...

  38. ________________ made me think of...

  39. I was surprised...

  40. It seems like...

  41. I’m not sure....

  42. One of the illustrations was _______________ because…

  43. This story teaches...

  44. I began to think of…

  45. My favorite part of the book…

  46. The most important thing I learned about _____________ is…

  47. Something I would still like to know about __________________ is…

  48. If I could be one of the characters in this story, it would be __________ because…

  49. If I could talk to the author of this book, I would tell him/her…

  50. I chose to read this book because…


Questions to consider…


  1. What were your feelings after reading the opening chapter of this book?

  2. Did this book make you laugh? cry? cringe? smile? cheer? Explain.

  3. What connections are there between the book and your life? Explain.

  4. What is the most important sentence/paragraph/passage in this book? The most important event or feeling?  Explain.

  5. Who should or shouldn’t read this book? Why?

  6. What is the best part of the book? Why? What is the worst part? Why?

  7. Do you like the ending of the book? Why or why not? Do you think there is more to tell? 

  8. What do you think might happen next?

  9. What came as a surprise in the book? Why?

  10. What parts of the book seem most believable or unbelievable? Why?

  11. What makes you wonder in this book? What confuses you?

  12. In what ways are you like any of the characters? Explain.

  13. Do any of the characters remind you of friends, family members, or classmates? Explain.

  14. Which character would you like to be in this book? Why?

  15. What would you and your favorite character talk about in a conversation? Begin the conversation.

  16. Do you think the title fits the book? Why or why not?

  17. Some other possible titles for this book might be…(minimum of 5)

  18. What was the author’s purpose for writing this book?

  19. Has the book helped you in any way? Explain.

  20. How have you changed after reading this book? Explain

  21. What do you know now that you didn’t know before?

  22. What questions in this book would you like answered?

  23. What do you think will happen next?

  24. What are some words you don’t know?

  25. How would the story be different if it was told…(choose ONLY one)

    1. from a different character’s point of view?

    2. from a narrator? 

    3. in a different time period?

  26. What type of reader would enjoy this book and why?

  27. If the book were set 50 years in the future or the past, how would the conflict change?

  28. If you could be related to a character, who would it be and why?

  29. If you could step into the book, what’s the first thing you would do?

  30. If you were making this book into a movie, what part(s) would you cut out or change? Why?


Alternative responses


  1. Write a “book-fommercial” to convince or persuade others to read this book.

  2. Write a poem about your book.

  3. Write a eulogy (a speech honoring someone after death) for one of the characters.

  4. Create a slogan for the book and explain why you chose this…

  5. Illustrate a book cover different from what is on your book.

  6. Write a feasible solution for a problem a character has that is different from anything suggested in the book.

  7. Pretend that you are the author and writing a sequel to this book. Explain what should happen…..

  8. Give 3 reasons why this book should be taught to the whole class.

  9. Choose a food that represents this book and explain why.

  10. Create a theme song with lyrics for the book.

  11. Write a letter to the author of your book.

  12. Choose a character of the book, decide what would be an appropriate birthday present for that character and explain why.

  13. Discuss a portion of the book that was too predictable.

  14. Create an award for this book. Explain the award and why this book received it.

  15. Make a list of the characters in your book and then create a cast of famous people that you would choose to portray that character if you were making a movie.

  16. Write a letter to a character in your story.

  17. Make a comic strip of the story. (minimum 3 frames)

  18. Make a timeline of the major events (minimum 5 events) in this story. You must illustrate each event and label each event with a caption or description.

  19. Make a list of characters in your book. Transform the major characters in your book to animals.  Decide upon an animal for each based upon personality traits.

  20. List 10 interesting/”expensive” words from your book and…(choose only one)

    1. tell why each word is interesting.

    2. write a definition for each word.

    3. use each in a sentence of your own.

Adapted by CG Literacy Coaches 2008



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