When you write a journal, you are keeping a record of things that happened in your life. The things you write can be special events that happen to you or you can write about your feelings.

A journal can also be the place where you keep stories and poems that you write or collect.

To write a journal you need to have some kind of notebook (or you can keep a journal on your computer!) and a pen or pencil to write with. Some people like to write in their journal every day, and some people just like to write on special days. Whenever you write, make sure you include the date, so you'll know when the events happened!

Historical Fiction

A Historical Fiction story is when you write about something that really happened in history, but you write it from the point of view of a make believe character. You pretend your character was alive during that time of history, and in some way was there when the event happened. This is really fun because you get to mix up real historical facts with things you think might have happened.

 One example of a Historical Fiction book is Ben and Me. It's about a mouse that was alive when Benjamin Franklin was alive. The mouse thinks he told Ben Franklin all of his inventions!

The most important thing about writing a Historical Fiction story is to make sure you get the real events right! You have to know when they happened, who was there, and what really happened. Your story can have dialogue, or it can be a journal.

Here is a sample of a Historical Journal we had to write in our class. It takes place in 1608, and is describing how the Jamestown settlers lived.
Historical Journals.

April 1, 1608

Dear Journal,

We have loaded the ship! We are going to leave France today and everybody is ready to go. We will find thousands in gold and will be rich. John Smith, a famous explorer, is coming on our trip. This is going to be my best exploration yet.

It took us an hour to complete the loading and finally we set sail. We are all so excited. We had a fancy meal today. The waves started to get bigger at about 10 o'clock and the winds were really fast. Everybody was scared.

  About an hour ago, the storm started to pass us by. It is 12 midnight right now. Everybody else Is asleep, but I was afraid that another storm would come. I know that things will be better when we get to the new world. We just have to take over the land, get rich and leave! Having John Smith on our trip we'll for sure make it.

 

April 6, 1608

Dear Journal,

 

Ahoy! Me and my group have spotted land. It looks fabulous. Trees all over the place. We have been waiting so long. We are ready to search for gold. Radcliff said there was lots of gold. We will wait a day before we go to land. Everybody is so excited. I am too! I'm going to be rich and famous! I will have to work a lot too because people have to have shelter and homes.

I, Jaquez de Martel, am one of the best house builders around where I used to live. I'm sure I made the right decision to leave France. Exploring new lands and getting riches is my highest priority. I don't care for Radcliff, the captain of this ship, because he is very bossy and harsh, but I will get used to it. He has First class and at least five servants, while we have to work on the ship all day long. Oh well.

 

April 10, 1608

Dear Journal,

We have found a good place to settle and Radcliff did a ceremony to show it was our land. The settlement has marshy land which I don't like because of the mosquitoes and the Malaria disease. There is a river right next to us. I think we built our settlement here so we could get away from the Indians. We have met few Indians and I figure they are very curious about us, because I am very curious about those new dark skinned people.

There are lots of crop lands and enough food to last a long time. We have already started to look for gold. I think John Smith is mad about us digging for gold, but I have no clue why. I have been assigned four houses to build today. It feels like a ton of work.

We were attacked by a party of savages but the sound of the cannon scared them off. It was a rough and exciting day.

 

April 16, 1608

Dear Journal,

John Smith has met Indians and has made a friendly relation with Powhatan, their chief. John told me Powhatan only wanted guns from us, which they call Thunder. Radcliffe is giving anything to the Indians. I think that was a mistake. I think the Indians will attack us with the guns and swords. I told Radcliffe, but he seemed to ignore me.

 That got me mad, so I told John Smith and he said he thought the same thing.

At about noon about fifty Indians came and attacked our main fort. We tried to fire the cannon to scare them off, but they just kept attacking. And as I said, they did have the guns, swords, and muskets that Radcliffe gave them. John Smith was very mad at the attack. They had ruined five of my building I had just finished. I was really mad at Radcliffe.

We had stopped the Indians after about an hour. Radcliffe wanted war against the savages, but John didn't want to. I don't know why, but he thinks the savages are nice and good people, but almost everybody else thinks they're just mean savages.

 

April 20, 1608

Dear Journal,

It is cold and damp. Water is dangerous to drink. Everybody is starving.

Today something strange happened. A meeting was called. Smith said, "If you don't work, you shall not eat!" People left the meeting all talking. Some people were saying stuff like, "It's crazy!" and "Why?" I was surprised myself. Things changed a lot since he said that Work was being done. Awhile later I heard someone swear. I looked up and saw water down his sleeve. I walked over. John said "That's my other new rule." People were very mad at John Smith, but some people loved the rule. I was one of those people, because I had been working the whole time. There were some fights, but they were taken care of. Life is very harsh.

 

April 29, 1608

Dear Journal,

Life is getting worse and worse. People are eating anything they can. It is terrible. About noon, I heard the Indians captured John Smith. Some of our soldiers went to the Pohatan village because I heard today was when John Smith was going to die! I was allowed to go, so I did. When I got there, the savage Indians were just about to kill Smith. A young girl stepped in and covered John. Everybody stared in astonishment, especially when the chief let him go!

When John came back, he told us that the girl was Pocahontas, who was the chief's favorite daughter. So that explained why John was let go.
Our food is scarce and the water is very dangerous to drink. The Indians are getting mad and annoyed at us. I am pretty afraid the Indians might make a full attack. I think everyone here at the settlement is scared.

 

May 4, 1608

Dear Journal,

The air is humid, the food is gone and there is no water. We are all starving. Captain Archer went outside earlier, and in less than a minute, five arrows had struck him. It is the worst time of my life. We heard a rumor that a man had eaten his wife. The word spread out quickly over the settlement. What kind of disgusting man would do that? Now dinner is rats, mice and any other rodent we can find. Why do people like me have to live like this?

It seems like every day is a month, and every week a year. Probably because we have to stay in the fort the whole time. The Indians have stole almost all of our guns, muskets and swords. We are down to about fifty people since starving time started. John Smith and Radcliffe are mad at the attack. This time, I think everybody is mad. We have barely any chance of winning since we don't have any armor, weapons or strength. Everybody is too hungry to fight. We are all weak.

 

May 10, 1608

Dear Journal,

Today a ship of people came to our settlement of Jamestown! Everybody is so happy because the ship brought food and supplies. The last person to get out of the ship was Captain Dale. He is a big man who looks mad and serious. After being in our settlement for a few hours he was making everybody work. He has made nasty rules, like if you swear three times, you will die, and if you don't work, you wont eat. He also cuts off peoples hands if they have done something wrong.

I always hide when he comes close to me. I know I'm not doing anything wrong, but he'll probably find something wrong with me. I heard that the women had made the men's shirts too short, and were hanged. That's like me making a house too small and dying because of it! I have a feeling we will starve once again, because the ship brought so many people. The fool will run out very quickly. I hope I'm not the only one to think about this. Our supplies will run out quickly too.

 

May 16, 1608

Dear Journal,

Today is one of the best days of my life. We are packing to leave Jamestown. We don't really have to pack much, because we used it all or it was stolen by the Indians. I finally get to go back to France. Everybody is celebrating. Most people here are very mad that they didn't find gold, and they are also mad at Radcliffe because he was the one who said we'd find it! Soon we are going to leave.
It took about an hour to finish up the packing, and now we are on the ship. We are going to set sail soon.

May 20, 1608

Dear Journal,

We have set sail and are heading towards France. The winds are perfect, the waves are calm, and the weather is warm. We are probably about 4000 miles away from France. A few hours later the whether got a little worse and there was a little rain. The winds took us of course but after a long time we could see land. Everybody celebrated and then we landed. Everybody ran of the boat and went to there rich families.



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