Transactional Reading Journal

Louise Rosenblatt
• Literature as Exploration (1938)
• Reader’s engage with a text as a transaction.
• The reading of a text is an EVENT in which the
reader gives the text life.
• Each reader has an individual experience with
a text.
• Teachers should foster students’ trust in their
own interpretation.
Transactional Reading Journals
• Jude Ellis built upon Rosenblatt’s theory to
develop the Transactional Reading Journal.
• Encourages students to engage in an active
personally meaningful exchange with text.
• Their engagement with the text is captured in
their journals which can be shared with each
other and the teacher.
Possible Journal Entry Assignments
relating to Steal Away Home
• Write a letter to one of the characters in the story
in your own voice, asking them questions then
write their response to you.
• Write a short story describing an encounter
between two characters in the story, one from
the past and one from the present.
• Pick a meaningful passage from the book and
change the outcome, rewrite this part of the
story with detail.
• Write a story in which you find a secret room in
your home, what will you discover?
• Create a piece of writing that describes a personal
reaction to a character, place or event in the text.
• Make a prediction early in the book. Revisit this entry
and write another comparing and contrasting your
prediction to the actual ending.
• Write a journal entry in Dana’s voice, describe her
thoughts and feelings about what she has discovered.
• Write a journal entry in James’ voice expressing how he
feels about his mother’s choices as well as his father’s,
his feelings and thoughts regarding these.
• Choose a ‘five star quote’ from the novel describe its
significance to you and to the story.
• Draw two pictures one depicting Lawrence in
1856 and one depicting how you imagine it now.
• Write a short story describing one of Ms. Lizbet’s
journeys either in her voice or third person.
• Predict how you think Mr. Weaver will react when
he discovers that his home as been a safe house.
• Create a correspondence between a character in
this novel and a character from another piece of
literature we have read.
• Describe who you most admired in this book and
why. Create a medal of recognition you would
give them.
Works Cited
Church, G. The Significance of Louis Rosenblatt on the Field of Teaching Literature.
Inquiry, 1(1) Spring 1997, 71-77.
Pressley, M., El-Dinary, P., Gaskins, I., Schuder, T., Bergman, J., Almasi, J., Brown, R.
Beyond Direct Explanation: Transactional Instruction of Reading Comprehension
Strategies. The Elementary School Journal, 92(5), May 1992, 513-555.
Probst, R. Transactional Theory in the Teaching of Literature. ERIC Clearinghouse on
Reading and Communication Skills. Retrieved from ERIC database. ED284274.
Reading Strategies retrieved from
Ruby, Lois. Steal Away Home. Aladdin Paperbacks. 1994