Find out about the famous diarists Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn. Write your own diary entries, including a realistic entry set during the Great Fire. Finally, share diaries in a ‘coffee house’ setting to celebrate the completion of this block.

Session 1 Who ARE they?

Objectives

History

  • Understand some of the ways in which we find out about the past and identify different ways in which it is represented.
  • Learn about events beyond living memory that are significant nationally.

English

  • Write about real events.

Teaching and Activities

Find out about famous diarists Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn; learn about the art of diary writing and write your own diary entry.

Teaching Outcomes
To begin to understand the importance of the diary writing of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn.
To describe and write about an event or activity.

Children will:

  • Meet Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn and understand their diaries give us information about life in their times, including the Great Fire of London.
  • Write their own diary entry about modern day life.
  • Use adjectives to add interest and information to their writing.

Provided Resources

This session does not need any provided resources.

You Will Need

  • Example of an appointment diary
  • Writing or topic books

Session 2 FREEZE!

Objectives

History

  • Learn about events beyond living memory that are significant nationally, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time and a wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms.
  • Understand where the people and events fit within a chronological framework.

English

  • Participate in and gain knowledge, skills and understanding associated with drama.
  • Adopt, create and sustain a range of roles, responding appropriately to others in role.
  • Improvise, devise and script drama for one another and a range of audiences.

Teaching and Activities

Role-play scenes from the Great Fire of London that were captured in diary entries at the time; Perform and perfect your scenes; capture a key moment in a ‘freeze frame’ photograph.

Teaching Outcomes
To place key facts and events of the Great Fire into a timeline.
To create freeze frame scenes, using a diary entry.

Children will:

  • Learn where people and events fit within a chronological order, using a time line.
  • Participate in mime or drama to further understand the feelings and emotion generated by the Great Fire of London.
  • Perform to an audience.
  • Learn how to make comments and suggest improvements for peer assessment.
  • Work to improve their drama presentation.

You Will Need

  • Time line, as used in previous sessions
  • Role play clothes if available
  • Appropriate props

Session 3 What did you say?

Objectives

History

  • Ask and answer questions, choosing and using parts of stories and other sources to show that they know and understand key features of events.

English

  • Improvise, devise and script drama for one another and a range of audiences.

Teaching and Activities

Look carefully at your freeze frame pictures; write speech bubbles to depict the emotions experienced by the people in the scene.

Teaching Outcomes
To empathise with the people experiencing the Great Fire of London.
To write speech bubbles to depict character’s feelings, emotions and actions.

Children will:

  • Show their understanding of the events in the Great Fire of London through drama.
  • Write speech bubbles depicting these emotions and feelings.
  • Consolidate use of exclamation marks and question marks.

Provided Resources

  • Large speech bubble shapes for teacher to model writing
  • Smaller speech bubble shapes for children to write on.

You Will Need

  • Freeze Frame photographs from session 2

Session 4 Quills and ink!

Objectives

History

  • Understand some of the ways in which we find out about the past and identify different ways in which it is represented.

English

  • Write about real events.

Teaching and Activities

Learn about the writing implements of the 17th Century; make your own quill and ink; write a realistic looking diary page about an incident during the Great Fire of London 1666.

Teaching Outcomes
To understand the significance diaries play in providing information to aid our understanding of the past.
To produce individual, ‘historic’ diaries.

Children will:

  • Understand how writing implements have changed over the years.
  • Realise afresh how very old the diaries of Samuel Pepys are.
  • Write a realistic page from a diary as written during the Great Fire of London 1666.

Provided Resources

This session does not need any provided resources.

You Will Need

  • Group photos from session 3 and speech bubbles
  • A4 paper tea stained to look old
  • Plastic drinking straws
  • Ink or paint thinned with water
  • Small containers for the ink
  • Coloured feathers
  • Basket or bin

Session 5 Coffee House!

Objectives

History

  • Learn about events beyond living memory that are significant nationally.
  • Understand some of the ways in which we find out about the past and identify different ways in which it is represented.

Teaching and Activities

Use paint to recreate an authentic looking diary cover for your historic diary; read your diary to other children in a ‘coffee house’ setting to celebrate the completion of this block.

Teaching Outcomes
To read completed diaries and exchange business news as 17th century business men in the ‘penny university’.

Children will:

  • Complete writing and then make covers for their historic diaries.
  • Read their diaries to each other in a Coffee House setting to celebrate the completion of this block.

Provided Resources

This session does not need any provided resources.

You Will Need

  • Washing up liquid
  • Plastic drinking straws
  • A4 size plastic trays
  • Old 1d coins
  • Coffee shop role-play items
  • Beverages to serve in coffee house
  • Oat based biscuits
  • Images of Samuel Pepys' diary (lots available online).