If the children are unfamiliar with using visualisation and thought journalling, it may be helpful to invite comments immediately following the exercise. How did it make you feel? etc. Maybe a minute or two of paired talk would be less daunting. They'll be keen to do this, and "trying out" their thoughts this way will build confidence in committing ideas to paper. Following the visualisation allow the children ten minutes to complete their journals. I find the children generally like to draw pictures. Encourage them to annotate and elaborate their drawings. Extend by inviting the children to record their thoughts and feelings in whatever way they choose. Random phrases or isolated words are quiet acceptable, there is no need for full sentences. Do any questions come to mind? If so, write them down. Vary the format; poems, speech bubbles, thought bubbles, captions , sideways writing or take a sentence for a walk around the page. ANYTHING GOES! Praise and encourage creativity and thinking outside the box.
Invite the children to share their work if time allows.
Thought journalling is an excellent way to gather evidence of Reflection and Response
This picture was drawn by a Year 4 Muslim child following "The Newborn" Visualisation. From left to right the image shows Jesus in the manger, Jesus on the cross, a priest standing at a communion table with bread and wine. Although his home faith is Islam, this child clearly has an understanding of why Jesus is important to Christians.
Thought Journalling is a great way to gather evidence following a reflective activity such as visualisation, and children really love the freedom this activity allows them. Use a plain paper workbook, (or plain A4 trimmed and stuck into existing RE books to provide a “blank canvas” and encourage free expression.