Regressing: First Grade Journal Game!

Okay, I lied when I said we were done going through the archive of my life. Because I just found my first grade journal! It’s really short, and mostly pictures.

Once again, awesome cover design provided by Fairfax County Public Schools

I guess because writing is super hard in 1st grade, the format of this journal is: blank space for a picture on top, giant lines for words on the bottom. Each entry is clearly written from a one word prompt, probably written on the board, judging by my strange ability to spell it correctly, unlike every other word. Since I numbered my sentences and occasionally broke up the accompanying picture page so as to illustrate each one, I’m pretty sure we had a minimum requirement of five or eight or something (it seems to change randomly).

Anyway, I’m glad there are pictures, because my spelling is so much worse than last time. Not that the pictures are always obvious. See if you can guess the topic of the following. And *bonus points* if you can guess the one I drew this morning just to fool you! Click the pictures if you want a bigger image, and answers after the cut.


I like how the sun’s expression changes.




At least I tried to give you a hint by labeling that one (badly)


This one is the only entry without a sticker on, which I assume means I failed:


And here’s the hardest to guess, probably because the subject is a little more abstract:


Ready for the answers?:


Here’s the entry:

3/23/94. Elephants eat grass. Elephants are big. Elephants have to big ears. Elephants have a big trakks. Elephants have to eays.


This was the last entry in the journal, and I clearly knew a surprising number of facts about butterflies. Sorry if the picture seemed like a fake out, I’m not sure why the caterpillar/worm thing is so much larger than the butterfly on the left side.

6/6/94. Caterpillar’s make a cwislle. Butterflies have foar wiaings. Butterflies can’t fly whithe tar wiaings aren wet. Butterflies eat nakdr. Caterpillar’s eat levs. Caterpillar’s have 12 prs to the bady’s.

I may not have known how to spell chrysalis, wings, or with, but I did know that caterpillars have 12 body segments which is more than I do now.


Here’s the page I wrote out to prove it:

The date in the corner is 9/23/93. I like to think my spelling has improved somewhat

I am just throwing extra letters in all over the place like each word is a random alphabet dance rave. I think this translates to:

They have two ears. They have two eyes. They have one tail. They have four feet

… but it could also be a Satanic chant, who can say?


I think it’s pretty much impossible to get that from the picture, but it makes sense if you see what I wrote:

11/24/93. Farms. On a farm, thrr is a t-r-k-e. We get c-o-n f-o-m a farm. We get milk f-o-m a farm. and We get far. and c-o-s

Based on this evidence, I think “far” might be “flowers”? Also, maybe we had to write words we didn’t know how to spell in weird hyphenated-guess form?

#5=The Library!

And is also the one I drew today. I realized later that labeling the sections in the picture made it too obvious. Here are the sentences the picture corresponds to:

I tried to adhere to the randomness of the originals


I love how my turkey-drawing abilities went really downhill in the week between this and the farm entry.

11/29/93. Thanksgiving. We had soa trey, dasing, fotsal, canbwesoso, ptatos, ponipie, applepie. Soa favd of oas cam. We aet at my has.

Okay. This entry was definitely the hardest for me to decipher, especially since in the original, all the commas look like C’s. But from studying the picture, I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be this:

11/29/93. Thanksgiving. We had some turkey, dressing, fruit salad, cranberry sauce, potatoes, pumpking pie, and apple pie. Some friends of ours came. We are at my house.

I’ve never known my family to really get into pumpkin pie, so it’s also possible that we actually ate pony pie. Sorry, Steven.

And here’s the hardest to guess, probably because the subject is a little more abstract:


Steven’s guess was “underwater Mt. Doom is attacked by an airplane”. Maybe because it’s hard for other people to guess my in-depth 1st grade knowledge of Japan.

5/2/94. 1) Japan has a lot of rise. 2) The bullet train gose fast. 3) In Japan taey wear cmonos. 4) The talles Matina is Mt. Fuji. 5) Japan pelpe make fans. 6) Japan has a lot of gold fish. 7) Japan has boys day.

Obviously it was difficult to incorporate all 7 Japan facts into my drawing, so I included things like a bullet train erupting out of a pile of rice near Mt. Fuji while a random flying goldfish looks on. The fish-kite things tied to the pole are part of the Boys’ Day celebration! I actually think they’re pretty recognizable if you already know about the tradition.

Clearly I should start illustrating my journal entries more often! Maybe it would help future-Patricia in deciphering my handwriting.

4 responses to “Regressing: First Grade Journal Game!”

  1. mom ladd says:

    Thanks Trish. This entry was a great way for me to start my day. We had pumpkin pie that year, because the Reeses came for Thanksgiving dinner and they brought the pumpkin pie.

  2. TheJamesFox says:

    I kind of wish I had some things I wrote in 1st Grade because I can’t remember if I was also that creative at spelling

    Totally got the Japan picture though! First Grade Patricia pretty much nailed it

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