Scripture journals and children’s art

I had the idea a few months ago to have the kids keep their own “scripture journals” as I was taking notes at church in mine.  So the “journals” would be places for them to write and draw what they were hearing during Sacrament Meeting and perhaps also write about their personal experiences (perhaps expanding them to full journals).  Like most ideas, the implementation didn’t go quite as smoothly as I’d pictured.  I gave them to the children during church and told them to stick to one page (which we’d date) and to write about what they heard or about their life.  Here’s how it started:


Jonathan Emma Kathryn

Jonathan decided to write down the church words he heard in a “dictionary.”  Emma actually tried to take notes and draw a picture, as requested.  (Unfortunately, I did not write in what she meant and I doubt she remembers now.  Too bad!).  Kathryn got help from Emma.  First day went pretty well.  :)

The next day I brought them out for normal journal time:



Emma Kathryn

Jonathan didn’t want to do a journal. He wanted to count birds in the sky. Then make guesses (the left side says “I think g.3. is a group of Vultures; I think g.8. is a group of peregrine falcons; g.5. is a gorup of (?); I think g.6. is a group of just birds; I think g.8. are birds; I think g.9. are bald eagles”). Then do some math.  At least he was writing and thinking.  :)

Emma did a journal – “We were moving to a new house.  I was sad.”

Kathryn drew flowers.

That was the last “journal” time I remembered to do.  The rest of the entries in their journals have been at church.  And with only one exception, the “journals” have long left the original instructions given.  I couldn’t even get them to keep the drawings in order!  *Sigh*

But the entries have provided a good way to keep track of the children’s thoughts and development at this point in time (and could be especially useful if I keep the dating up).  So here’s a sampling of what we have:



She’s working on her person figures. :)

This last one isn’t actually in her “journal” but is a picture she drew today for her friend Ryan, who apparently didn’t get it after all. Ah well. :)



Jonathan’s have been all over the place.  In late November/early December he was planning out his new “SuperBoy” book series:

Note the web address and advertisement in the top right corner.  He’s been bugging Bryan to help him make a website.  And not just any website, but an extremely complex one with great games, etc.  Bryan says he’s just as bad as, if not worse than, the most demanding client at his job.  :)

In December sometime we got a map:

Let’s see, we’ve got a floating haunted house, a school, a spy home, a “welcome to baby town”, some kind of fighting flowers, a time tunnel, a bus station, a castle, library, dragon’s home (two actually), cave, and letter store.  And a shark.  Don’t forget the shark.  And this was all 56 years ago.  See, you can learn a lot from maps.  :)

In January he made plans for a candy machine (which he then proceed to create after church and is now sitting on top of our cupboards). For fun, I’ve included pictures of the finished product beneath the plans:

The box is devoid of candy because we ate it all.  :)  But he has the money slot and bin in the back (I helped him figure out how to connect those) and then would manually push a candy through the bottom left opening when someone put money in the slot.  And he named it  “Happy Candy.”  :)

Anyway, back to the “journal” entries…

He did do some church related drawings, which made me happy since all of these were being done in church:

And then some not so church related drawings:

Yep, that’s Jonathan.

He did draw an illustrated “First Vision” story line for class last week, not in the scripture journal, but I still wanted to share:

(1) Joseph Smith tries various churches but doesn't feel right about them, (2) he reads the scriptures, (3) decides to pray (and go to the forest to have some privacy), (4) he prays, (5) he has opposition, (6) he sees the Father and the Son and is told to join none of the churches.




Emma was my exception.  Unlike her sister (who really just didn’t understand) and her brother (who just didn’t have interest in the idea), she has continued to do a journal, generally one drawing a day, complete with some words.  I love it!  :)

11-20-11 "We saw (plant?). It looked like Broccoli. Emma ate all of it."

11-20-11 part 2

1-8-12 "I am sad as I am in CTR 5" (her primary class/teacher changed for the new year).

January 2012 "My mom is (best?) My (favorite?) mom (ever?)"

January 2012 "I got a present. It was a toy (? - she later said maybe she was talking about the toy Zhu Zhu pet)."

2/12/12 "Me and my sister were in the bath." She wrote bath as "ba-f" and made sure Bryan knew that "-" meant the word continued to the next line. :)

2-19-12 "Me and my brother made a book. It was 'Avatar'."


So, not really a scripture journal for her, but a journal still.  And I love it!  It’s fun to see what she chooses to write about, what sticks out in her mind.

And for more drawing examples, here are the other two things she drew in church last week:

My little girl is definitely growing up.

One Response to “Scripture journals and children’s art”

  1. You have such great ideas! I love that the children are willing to write and draw. I used to do this with my first graders, and never corrected them because I didn’t want to ruin their creativity. I would write any word they wanted on the blackboard,and that helped with spelling, too. They are talented! I love this.


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