This year I decided that perhaps adding a dimension of ownership to journal writing would make it more meaningful. I got a stack of cool scrapbook paper and a gallon of Elmer's glue which we watered down to resemble Mod Podge, and we spent a couple of sessions personalizing matters by covering some composition books with great paper and then glossing them with the glue by painting. Now that they're dry and semi-flat, we've begun to write in earnest. Today I handed my hand lotto ball to a student and instructed her to give us a Powerball Number! Then I counted down that many writing topics in a book I have. Okay guys, write about a near miss disaster. WoweeKazowee!!! Pay dirt! Main artery! Mother Lode of journal entries!!!! No less than 12 kids wanted to share! In fact we had to schedule PART 2 for tomorrow!!! We heard a dramatic story about a drunk driver running a kid off her bike forcing her to leap to safety and then witness the untimely crushing death of her bike! We got grueling tales of horses run amok, a near fatal car crash with the entire family aboard, and a deer-coming-through-a-windshield tale! But the real sock curler--the story to put fuzz on your teeth!!-- was Olivia's. Last spring she was in a park by her church. Some boys were doing the mumbly peg thing with screwdrivers. You're way ahead of me on this, I can tell. But I'll bet even YOU would never guess that one of those screwdrivers found their way down into Olivia's nose and on into her nasal passage narrowly missing her EYE!!!!!!!! And there it lodged. Her dad gallantly pulls it out, her mother jumps fearlessly in to stop the bleeding, and Olivia does her part by freaking--absolutely freaking, as would I have. She said she even had a bump on the roof of her mouth where the screwdriver's tip had mercifully stopped. Oh my blessed ugh...I can't wait for Part 2 tomorrow. We may have to take these from 5 minute journal entries into full-fledged epic narrative essays!