About the Activity

Journals are a great place to write down memories, ideas, dreams, and day-to-day experiences. Making your own journal can be special because it can be made with your personal touch and reflect a part of who you are.


Journals are also important because they can help us learn about historical moments and share our stories with future generations.


Topic: Crafting
Grades: 3-8
Estimated Time: 30-45 minutes


Brought to you by Utah State University Extension

open journal


  • Heavy cardstock
  • Computer paper (10 pieces)
  • Hole punches
  • Rubber band
  • 1 twig
  • Embellishments
  • Scissors
  • Rulers
  • Pencils
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Activity Steps

  1. Talk About Journals: Journals teach us about the past and help us learn about people that have come before us. With a family member or friend, share any personal stories about ancestors journals that you have learned from.If you don’t have any personal stories, you can discuss famous journals that have impacted our world.

    One of the most famous journals is Anne Frank’s. Anne Frank depicted her life in hiding during World War II through her personal diary “Kitty.” The diary described life with her family and four friends in Amsterdam during German occupation.

  2. Construct a book using the following steps:
  • Cut 10 pieces of 8 ½ x 11 computer paper in half.
  • Cut 1 piece of 8 ½ x 11 heavy cardstock in half.
  • Your final papers should measure 8 ½ x 5 ½.
  • Punch 2 holes in one of the short sides of all your pages (see Figure 1).
  • Make sure your holes line up when you stack your papers together.
  • Score the top cover page just so it will bend easily when the book is being worked on (see Figure 2).
  • Insert a rubber band from the bottom of the book up through one of the sets of holes (see Figure 3).
  • Slip your twig in the rubber band (this keeps it from slipping out while you bring the other end of the rubber band up) (see Figure 4).
  • Now, thread the other end of the rubber band up through the second hole and loop it over the other end of the twig (see Figures 5 and 6).
  • Design and embellish the cover page of your new journal!

Reflection Questions
Questions for your kids and teens.


  • Why is keeping a journal beneficial?
  • What journals written in the past have benefited our society?
  • What can we learn from others journals?


  • What are you going to include in your journal; poetry, pictures, etc.?
  • Journaling is a great way to record our thoughts. What other types of information would be beneficial to record?
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