English – S2 English – Academic Year 2020/21

S2 English – Academic Year 2020/21

S2 Writing Journal May-June 2020

 Over the next few weeks, you are asked to complete a writing journal.  Hopefully you will find lots to choose from in the suggestions which follow.  They will let you write about yourself and make you think about society and ideas too.

Remember, though, this isn’t a diary, so you are writing in order that your work will be read.  This means, firstly, that it should be accurate so you must proofread as carefully as possible.  Pay particular attention to punctuation, as this is likely to be where most mistakes are made.   However, you don’t want your writing to be accurate but boring, so trying to write interestingly and stylishly is the second part of completing your journal.

Look at the following examples of answers to the question:  What is your favourite food?

Journal entry One

My favourite food is pizza.  I really like it because I like Italian food.

This is clear and it’s accurate, but it’s also very short so not nearly as interesting as it could be.

Now look at the second response:

Journal entry Two

Pizza is something that lots of people love and I’m no exception.  I like simple food, so my favourite is plain old Margherita which is a special type of pizza which originated in Naples, Italy.  Neapolitan pizza is traditionally made with a dough that includes flour, salt and yeast.  This dough is mixed, kneaded, allowed to rise and then shaped into flattened rounds.  There are only a few ingredients that go onto the rounds of dough: tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, some leaves of basil, a sprinkling of salt and, finally, a drizzle of olive oil.  Then the pizza is baked in very hot, wood-fired oven. A few short minutes later, it’s ready to eat.  Delicious!

You may be thinking that the pizza has an unusual name and there is a story behind this.  The pizza is actually named after Italy’s Queen Margherita who visited Pizzeria Brandi in Naples in 1889.  The pizzaiolo (the pizza maker) on duty that day created a pizza for the Queen which contained the three colours of the Italian flag: the red tomato sauce, the white mozzarella cheese and the green basil leaves.

This is a much more detailed piece of writing and there is still lots more that can be added to it:  where to buy the best Margherita in Edinburgh and what makes it the best;  what your thoughts are about fancier pizza toppings, especially the more unusual ones; how to make your own tomato sauce etc.

Remember, the journal is about developing your writing skills, not simply dashing off any old couple of sentences!

Ideas for Writing

  • What benefits do you receive when you help someone else?
  • Write a poem about yourself.
  • If you could set a world record, what would it be for? Why?
  • What qualities do you value most in friends?
  • What was your favourite toy when younger and why?
  • Where would you go and what would you do if you had a time machine?
  • What’s your least favourite household task?
  • How would your parents, teachers and friends describe you?
  • What would you do if you won the lottery?
  • Would you rather have money or fame? Why?
  • Write a poem about what it’s like to be your age.
  • Write about a family member you admire.
  • Is it ever ok to tell lies?
  • What does it mean to be tolerant?
  • Is religion a force for good?
  • Write about an object you always have with you.
  • What things do you miss most about being in lockdown?
  • What’s your favourite place in the world and why?
  • What makes a day a good day?
  • Write about a time you surprised yourself. What did you do?
  • Write about a time you got the blame for something you didn’t do.
  • Think of an invention that you wish someone would make.

What purpose would it have?

  • Who is your favourite actor or actress? What is his or her best role?
  • If you could have one superpower, what would you choose?
  • Write a thank you letter to someone who has helped you.
  • Which country would you most like to visit?
  • What’s the point of learning another language?
  • How do you think the world will be changed by coronavirus?
  • How do you think you will be changed by coronavirus?
  • What’s the point of libraries?
  • What’s your favourite school subject and why?
  • If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
  • What’s your best quality?
  • What’s your opinion of reality TV?
  • Should society value the elderly more?
  • Is it important to give people second chances?
  • How would you improve politics?
  • Why is it important to read?
  • Who is your favourite literary character?
  • What things would you put into Room 101?
  • What’s your biggest regret?
  • Wealthy or wise? Which is better?
  • Which historical figure would you most like to meet and why?
  • Write a review of your favourite film.
  • If you were cast away on a desert island, what single luxury would you most like to have?
  • What pieces of music mean most to you?
  • Write about a time when you were the centre of attention.
  • What has been your biggest mistake? What did you learn from it?
  • Write about an occasion you will never forget.
  • Cats or dogs? Which is better?
  • What’s the scariest animal?
  • Describe yourself in three words.
  • Which author has influenced you most?

Completing your journal

Design a front cover for your journal.  You could do this last and aim to illustrate what you have written about specifically. Alternatively, you could do this first and design a cover which illustrates the idea of writing in general.  It’s up to you.

You can complete as many journal entries as you wish, but as a minimum requirement you should submit two entries per week to your teacher.

Think about illustrating your entries as well, please, aiming to present your work as attractively as possible.

You can complete the entries in any order that you like.


As well as completing your journal, you should, of course, be carrying on with your private reading.  Each week you should complete ONE activity from those listed in the BGE Reading Project and submit this to your teacher along with your journal pieces.