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We are learning to... To write a diary entry based on a person in history.





Lesson 1-  Past Tense

Complete this BBC Bitesize lesson on past tense. https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/articles/zh4thbk


As an extra activity write out this paragraph. Change the highlighted words so that the paragraph is written in past tense.


I sleep on a damp bed in a tiny cabin with mother and father. We are all packed in like so much cargo below deck. We do not know many of the other passengers, yet we live nearly on top of each other. Few of us have ever been aboard a ship, and there is much seasickness. The stench is most awful! I welcome the times when we are allowed to go on deck to empty our chamber pots and breathe the fresh air.

We pray as we rise in the morning and before and after we take our meals. For food we commonly have pease or bean pottage, cheese and ship’s biscuit. For drink, we have beer. We have some water but they say it will soon go bad.

The storms are fearsome! They roll and toss our poor ship which creaks and moans as though it will break apart. My arms and legs are bruised from being thrown about and having things fall on me. 

Lesson 2: First Person

Watch these videos which explain the difference between first and third person.







This paragraph is written in third person.

Rewrite it in 1st person e.g. I looked around. I did not know what to do.

Remember to present it as neatly as possible.


Lewis looked around. He did not know what to do. He felt alone and lost. He walked slowly towards the beach. He sat down under the palm tree to think. He decided he needed somewhere to sleep, so he collected some soft grass and made a bed for himself. He looked around for some wood for a fire to keep wild animals away while he slept. He was exhausted and his stomach was rumbling. He missed his family and he knew that they would be frantic with worry about where he was. They would be wondering why he hadn’t returned home.


Can you add a further 3 sentences to the paragraph in 1st person?




Lesson 3- 


The life and work of Grace Darling

This film tells the true-life story of Grace Darling, including her heroic efforts to rescue the survivors of a shipwreck during a storm.

Watch the clip to learn about the story of Grace Darling.

She was the daughter of a lighthouse keeper who heroically risked her life to rescue some strangers who had been shipwrecked.

You will be writing a diary entry about this memorable day later in the week.


A diary entry is a form of recount in which the writer explains what has happened to them.

Here's a checklist of the key features to use when you write a diary entry.

  • Start with 'Dear Diary’.
  • Describe the places where the events happened.
  • Write in the past tense.
  • Use pronouns like I, my and me to show that the events happened to you.
  • Talk about how you were feeling or what you were thinking when each event happened.
  • Use interesting vocabulary.


Read the example of a diary written by a young pirate. Can you highlight any of the key features from the checklist?

Then answer the following questions.

You can either write out your answers or just think about them.

1. How does the diary entry start?

2. Is it written in the past tense?

3. What feelings or emotions does the writer experience?

4. How is the writing organised?

This is a good example of a diary entry, so you can use it as inspiration for your own writing.

Lesson 4 - Plan your diary

You're now going to plan what you will write in Grace Darling’s diary entry.

Either print out and fill in the 'Diary planning sheet' or make notes on a separate sheet of paper.


  • A diary entry is a form of a recount so you are retelling the story as if you are Grace on the day of the big rescue.
  • This is not the actual writing so you don’t need to write in full sentences.
  • If it helps, you can re-watch the video to remind yourself about what happens.

Top tip!

Diaries often include the writer’s emotions. So think about how Grace would be feeling during the events in the story.


Lesson 5 - Write your Diary

How to write recounts with Michael Rosen

Watch Michael Rosen explain how to write a recount.  


Now write Grace Darling’s diary entry.


As you write, use the checklist from the start of the lesson to remind yourself of the key features you should try to include.

Don't forget to use your plan and organise your writing using paragraphs too.


Top tip!

The video uses lots of interesting words.

For example: So, feeling both nervous and excited, I helped father to launch our rowing boat into the raging sea.

You could use some of these impressive words in your writing.

When you have finished, read your diary entry aloud to yourself or to someone else at home, if you can.

Look at the checklist again. Have you included all the features in your writing?

Underneath your writing, using a different coloured pen, write down:

  • two things that you really like about your diary entry
  • one thing that you would like to improve. Maybe you missed something from the checklist?

If you can, ask a friend or family member what they like about your diary entry and how they think you could improve it next time.