Using Journals to Enhance Primary


I’ve been searching for more ways to help my primary kids really absorb and remember what they are learning, both the scripture stories as well as how we can apply them to our daily lives.  My lessons include videos, lots of enrichment activities, warm fuzzy jars, and handouts.

I decided a fun weekly activity for the kids would be to keep a Primary Journal.  I turned some plain composition notebooks into the most adorable little personalized journals for each child and I’m so excited to use them. Get instructions to make your own here! I even called their parents ahead of time so each child’s journal is in their favorite color.

multiple journal flyer

I love the idea on Sugar Doodle by Melanie Day for the Primary Passports.  It encourages the children to pay attention each week to WHO they are learning about, WHAT is happening, and important SCRIPTURES to remember.  I adapted this idea to work with the journals in each lesson. The first page of the journal I made an introduction page with some fill in the blank answers.

Front pageThe next page  is for the children to write their testimony.

Testimony page

The rest of the journal will fill up as the year progresses. Each Sunday we’ll write the lesson titles at the top of the page, put that weeks handout next, and at the bottom of the page put the daily journal entry.  Any other handouts can be glued onto the back of the page or the next page.  The children can also write in the journals any inspiration they have during sacrament meeting or other spiritual times during the week.

journal page 2 journal page 3

To download the cover image “My Primary Journal”, the inside Fill in the blank page, the testimony page, and the daily lesson journal click Here

If you appreciate these fun ideas and free handouts please let me know in a comment below! You can like me on Facebook, follow me on Pinterest, and sign up for my newsletter for more updates!


  1. I love that you are doing these notebooks for primary. It seems most classes once they are out of primary but I think they would be so great for primary too. Love these!

  2. I love the design of these. They are so pretty but more than that they allow the children to think about what they learn each week. I will definitely be visiting here again. Thanks for the ideas and graphics. They are going to be so helpful.

    • rachaelsbooknook says:

      Thanks Nikki! My kids ADORE them! They are so excited to bring them each week and ask for the inserts early on so they can write down the scriptures as the lesson happens. It’s been a fun way to get them more engaged with what we’re learning.

  3. You are so creative! These are such beautiful ideas, so inspired. Thank-you for being willing to share these with us all! It is such a blessing!

  4. Martha Vidoni says:

    Thank you for all of the fun ideas that you so willingly share. I love your blog!

    • rachaelsbooknook says:

      Thank you, Martha! These journals turned out so perfect for the year, the kids love adding to them each week and they’ve really enhanced the lessons, I hope you enjoy them, too!

  5. would you mind making the “This Journal Belongs To” page for a Branch with a Branch President? my Primary President thinks this will be awesome to do with the kids starting next year!!!!!

  6. Hi, Rachael! I loved your idea and I would to share your files with my Brazillian sisters. Would you mind making the journal pages in Portuguese? I could give you the translation.

  7. Beverly Gonzales says:

    Thanks so much Rachel. I love this idea. This will allow my primary children the opportunity to record their ideas each week on the lesson.

    • rachaelsbooknook says:

      You are so welcome, Beverly! It was fun seeing how the kids in my class would add extra thoughts to their journals or do things differently from how I imagined. I encouraged them to use them in other settings like Sacrament meeting or conference as well!

  8. Thanks for such a great idea Rachael! I teach 4 beautiful Valiant 11 girls yesterday and they loved it, I think it will really help them get more out of each lesson. I will be looking forward to each new week!

    • says:

      I’m so glad your girls loved the journals! I think they definitely help the lessons mean a little more. My kids actually want to write down the names of the people they are learning about and the scriptures that go with that story. Good luck with your sweet class!

  9. Rachel, I love this idea. Want to make them for my class. I download the docs to print, but I can’t print them. It wont let me save them either. Only look at them. Would you be willing to email them to me? Cuz, I am not creative enough to make my own. 🙂 Thanks for any help you can give.

    • rachaelsbooknook says:

      My Elisha! Sorry you’ve had trouble getting the docs to download! There are actually 4 images that I put in a zip file so you could download them easier. Before printing you have to right click on the file and then click on “unzip”. That makes them available to print. I’ll go ahead and email them to you as well just in case 🙂

      • I am so excited to make these they are adorable! would you mind emailing them to me as well? I can’t seem to get them to print either and don’t have an unzip option…I might just be bad at this but that would really help me out. Thanks!

      • I cannot get mine to open either. I right click on the file but there is no “unzip” option. My class loves these journals. I have three new students. I have printed them before but now I can’t seem to open the files.

        • says:

          It actually sales “extract all” rather than “unzip’ Try that and let me know if you still have problems!

  10. Adrianne Gasbara says:

    I love your website! You have created so many wonderful handouts and great ideas for children. I have 5 of my own that are very precious to me as well. I really want to make the journals for my primary class but I was wondering the handouts when printed are too big to fit in the composition books? Like the scripture handout John 15:13.

    • rachaelsbooknook says:

      Hi Adrianne! Thank you so much for your kind words! To get my images to fit in the composition notebooks I usually print them 4 to a page- so they end up around 3.5X5 size. They make great handouts at that size and also help me save on printing costs. I personally like printing on card stock as well since it makes the journal pages a little sturdier but that’s just my own preference, not really neccessary.

  11. Kim Arnold says:

    I have been looking for some new ideas for our new class this year.. And you have just given it to me!! I have my work cut out for me this week!! Love the journal ideas.
    Thank you
    Kim Arnold

    • rachaelsbooknook says:

      Hi Kim! I’m so glad you found this! Your kids will LOVE their journals, they are definitely worth any work you put into them. Be sure to check back each week for handouts to fill them up!

  12. This is literally an answered prayer! I LOVE it!! Thank you, thank you for sharing your talent and creativity with us! I am also having a heard time downloading. Would you mind emailing them to me? Sorry! Thank you!!

    • rachaelsbooknook says:

      Thank you so much for your kind comment, Jamie! I’m so glad you like the idea and I hope it helps with your class. I emailed the files to you. When you download it from the blog the pages are combined into a zip folder, so before they can be used you have to first right click on the folder then click on “extract all”. Hope that helps for future reference!

  13. Thank you so much for your wonderful ideas. I have used several of them in my Primary 7 Valiant class and they are so helpful and wonderful. Absolutely LOVE the ideas and helps. Very grateful for all of your hard work.

    • rachaelsbooknook says:

      You are very welcome DaLane! I’m so glad you’ve been able to use the ideas with your class. I spend a lot of time making them so it’s wonderful to know they are helping others. Thank you for serving in Primary!

  14. Lorri Johnstone says:

    Thank you for these great ideas. I am new to the Primary teaching thing and have been struggling on how to get the kids to stay focused during class. I think if they are doing these journals along with the lessons, they will get more out of the lessons. I was thinking of doing something like this. I got some binders for them, but hadn’t quite figured out how to start the process of building them up. Thanks again. I will surely follow the things you do. IT is a GREAT HELP!!

    • rachaelsbooknook says:

      Thanks Lorri, I hope your kids love their journals. That’s a great idea to use binders, as well. I’ve found that having the journals in class really helps the kids to actually focus on what the lesson was about (well, most of the time 🙂 )

  15. Katie Barker says:

    Thank you for the great idea! What age of primary do you teach? Just trying to gear the ages this will appeal to most. 🙂

    • rachaelsbooknook says:

      You’re welcome, Katie, glad you like the idea! My class is the 8-9 year olds. I think the journals are kind of neat because they appeal to a broad range of ages. To work best I think the kids would need to be starting to write on their own, but I frequently write words on the chalk board to help with spelling. My mom used the journals for her Young Women and they really like them as well (adapted to go with their lessons) so even the older kids enjoy the journals. Hope that helps!

  16. Jenni West says:

    I am new to teaching primary I always went to church as a little girl but when I got out on my own I kinda fell out of touch with it and I just recently this year started going back and I teach 10-11 year old girls and I love it I just found your page but will be using the journal idea and everything else I’m so excited to doc this for the girls thank you so much for all the cute fun things you make it makes it fun and I found another lady I have been using her stuff and she makes it games and I know the girls listen more then if I just read the lesson and I know it’s taught me so much more just from this so thank you to all you creative ladies that help us teachers out!!

    • says:

      Hi Jenni! I’m so happy you’ve found your way back to church, how wonderful! Teaching Primary is one of my favorite callings, and the 10-11 year girls are a wonderful age. That’s great you’re using the journals, your class will love it! Best of luck to you and happy teaching!

    • Lorri Johnstone says:

      What other lady did you get etc from? Im always looking for something to keep my 6 boys in Primary interested. Often I learn more from them…then what I am trying to teach. I am new to the Primary teaching scene and LDS church.. so this is ALL new to me. Thanks

  17. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this and share it with us. I just got called as a teacher and would love if you would please send me these files by email. For some reason the zip file is not working for me, each jpg does not open up. Thanks so much and have a good day. 🙂

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