In the first phase of the Pandemic Journaling Project (May 2020-May 2022), over 1,800 people in 55 countries created nearly 27,000 journal entries -- in writing, audio, and/or photos. About one-third of all PJP participants are students.
Educators at over 15 high schools, colleges, and universities have used PJP in their teaching. In Summer 2022, we are collaborating with the Hartford Public Library on a series of in-person events for children age 12 and under.
Interested in bringing PJP into your classroom? Below are some ideas and resources.
All are now welcome to join our second phase, PJP-2, where we'll invite participants to share their reflections once every three months. To join, click here or choose "Join the Project" on the menu bar.
Is participation anonymous?
We will never ask for participants’ names.
How can I bring PJP into my teaching?
- Invite students to read the Featured Entries page and respond periodically, either in class or in an online Discussion Forum. Our Featured Entries are searchable by keyword.
- Use PJP questions as prompts for writing assignments, class discussion, or interviewing exercises. Each time we reach out, we ask PJP participants to create journal entries (in writing, audio, or photos) about two topics:
- The first topic is the same each time: “How is the coronavirus pandemic affecting your life right now? Tell us about your experiences, feelings, and thoughts.”
- The second topic changes regularly, but always includes a choice of options. You can find some of the questions we’ve posed on the Featured Entries page.
- You can find more prompts in our Resource Guide for Educators.
- Show one more of our videos in class as a way to spark discussion.
- Invite students to reflect on journaling itself -- as a personal experience, a tool for supporting mental health, a way to democratize future histories of COVID-19, a form of "grassroots collaborative ethnography," a human rights intervention, or as a form of "archival activism."
- Let students know that they are welcome to join PJP-2 if they choose.
- To participate in PJP-2, teens 15-17* will need parent/guardian permission. When they click "Join the Project," they'll be asked their age range. Anyone 15-17 will be asked for a parent/guardian's contact information. We'll send their parent/guardian an email or text, and if they give consent, the student can participate.
* Unfortunately youth under 15 are unable to participate in PJP-2 at this time.
How can I introduce my students to PJP?
Students may be interested in reading this article about PJP, which appeared in both English and Mandarin in New York Times-Kids, China edition. Students can also learn about PJP through other media coverage -- for instance, this podcast.
In our first phase (PJP-1), we created a 1-minute video to introduce the project (also available in Spanish, Portuguese, and Hindi). PJP-1 ended in May 2022, but the video is still useful as an overview of what PJP is and why we created it.
For a deeper look, this 10-minute video gives the story of PJP in greater detail.
You can find more PJP videos on our PJP YouTube channel.
Is there a sample assignment you can share?
The following sample assignment was developed by Kristina Baines, an anthropology professor at CUNY-Guttman College in New York City and a member of the PJP Advisory Board, during PJP's Phase 1, which invited PJP participants to create weekly journal entries.
Discussion Board Assignment
The discussion board assignment will involve reflection on the Pandemic Journaling Project. This is a global research project designed to capture everyday experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic. The researchers will use the information that they collect to better understand how different people in different places, and from different backgrounds, are affected by the pandemic. This is a great opportunity to take time for yourself to journal and consider your own thoughts while at the same time contributing to important research that will help us all deeply consider how people are dealing in this moment in history. Students in previous semesters have said that engaging with PJP was a very positive experience for them. For an overview of PJP, you can watch this 1-minute video, and you can hear voices of some PJP participants in this 2-minute video "sound collage."
Each week, you will engage with the Pandemic Journaling Project in one of two ways (your choice), then post your thoughts on our class discussion board:
- Use the keyword box to search the public posts on the Featured Entries page and reflect on at least one idea or post that struck you. Make a post in our class discussion forum and share this reflection. These posts can be made using any medium (text, audio recording, photos, etc.).
- If you choose to participate in the project research (not required; your choice), you will write/speak/create an image of your thoughts on the project site each week and also visit the Featured Entries page. You will then post about the experience of participating in our class discussion forum.
- If you choose this option, you do not need to make your posts public on the site, and you are not required to share what you post in our class discussion forum. These decisions are up to you.
- The project website is at https://pandemic-journaling-project.chip.uconn.edu/. If you choose to join, go to the website and click on “Join the Project”, or sign up here directly in English or in Spanish. After your first week, you will receive a weekly reminder to post.
Other sample assignments to share? If you’ve brought PJP into your classroom and would like to share ideas, comments, or student feedback, please drop us a line: PandemicJournalingProject@gmail.com.
How do we cite PJP?
We kindly ask that you please cite PJP in any research or projects, including student assignments, presentations, and web postings as well as published writing. To to so, please use a standardized format (e.g., MLA, Chicago) for citing digital sources. For example:
To cite the PJP website:
- The Pandemic Journaling Project. (2020) University of Connecticut and Brown University. https://pandemic-journaling-project.chip.uconn.edu/. Accessed [date].
To cite a specific page on the PJP website:
- The Pandemic Journaling Project. (2020). “Featured Entries.” University of Connecticut and Brown University. https://www.pandemicjournalingproject.org/en/archive/featured. Accessed [date].
In addition, please use the following text to describe PJP on your syllabus (or other course materials, as relevant):
- “The Pandemic Journaling Project was founded in May 2020 by Sarah S. Willen and Katherine A. Mason as a joint initiative of the University of Connecticut and Brown University. More information about the project can be found at https://pandemic-journaling-project.chip.uconn.edu/.”
Questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more about PJP
To learn more about how and why the Pandemic Journaling Project was created, you and your students may want to read about us in the New York Times, or:
- our 1-minute PJP video (also in Spanish, Portuguese, and Hindi).
- our anniversary sound collage, "Voices from the Pandemic Journaling Project."
- this video in which PJP Advisory Board Kristina Baines (CUNY-Guttman College), explains how she brought PJP into her classroom (on A Partial Perspective).
- our virtual public forum, hosted by the Commission on Children, Women, Seniors, Equity, and Opportunity at the Connecticut State Legislature.
- to our radio interview on WNYC's The Takeaway.
- to our radio interview on WNPR's "Where We Live."
- to our podcast interview with John Dankosky of CT Mirror.
- this essay at The Thinking Republic, led by two of our Student Advisory Board members.
- our blog post for the OECD Forum Network.
- our blog post on the Humanities for All blog of the National Humanities Alliance. You can also read it here in Spanish, or
- more on our media page.
Learn more ...