Pandemic Journaling

Girl on a bikeWe’re definitely on an adventure–we have no idea how this journey through Covid-19 will turn out. For most of us these are unprecedented times, but we don’t have to look too far back in history to find we are not alone in feeling uncertain and afraid.

Because we at Next Step believe it’s important to reflect on our lives and keep a record of our times, we’ve developed some journaling ideas to get you started writing. From a “List of Lists” to “Sticky Note Poetry”, we hope you find a form of journaling you enjoy.

Face mask in progressWar and natural disasters have always threatened humanity, but people have persevered through hardship at least as challenging as this pandemic. World War II was the last event to affect people across the entire globe as this coronavirus has.

Anne Frank went into hiding with her family in an attic in Amsterdam in 1942. In fear and cramped conditions, she wrote about her life and the people she shared it with. Radio broadcasts were crucial to remaining connected with the outside world during the Nazi occupation of Holland.

Anne didn’t know she and her family were soon to be discovered as they listened to the Dutch minister of education as he advised,

Preserve your diaries and letters…Only if we succeed in bringing this simple, daily material together in overwhelming quantity, only then will the scene of this struggle for freedom be painted in full depth and shine.” 

In March, when we started sheltering in place, I thought about starting a pandemic journal, but I had trouble getting started. Eventually I stopped thinking I had to write something profound like Anne Frank. I pulled out a notebook and dated my first entry March 28.

Since then I’ve jotted stories about my days, described our daily schedule, and listed my kids’ hobbies and ever-changing interests. I don’t pressure myself to write every day, but when I do put pen to paper I’m always glad I did.

Journaling helps me let go of swirling thoughts as I put them down on paper. And I’m creating a record of these extraordinary times.

Here is a Pandemic Journal lesson plan to develop some budding diarists. Use these ideas to reflect on how times have changed, how you feel about it, and what you’re doing differently. We hope you’ll take the time to share a few of your thoughts with us!

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One Reply to “Pandemic Journaling”

  1. […] beneath our feet. Connect the lessons to current events that are in the  local news like this, this, and this. The Next Step water lessons are linked to specific grade-level Next Generation Science […]

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