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The diary writer’s toolkit

Added 11 Aug 2017 | Updated 26 Jun 23


The Diary Writer’s Toolkit is an introduction to autobiographical writing as a medium for young people to express themselves. It explores autobiographical writing as a safe place to explore identity and a sense of belonging.

The resource explains how teachers can use this type of writing to help literacy development through the engagement of family and community.

Links to the curriculum

The Diary Writer’s Toolkit explores a number of classic diarists who span the curriculum:


Samuel Pepys – a resource in primary history as a witness account of the Fire of London, but also worth studying for its literary merit

Anne Frank – a diary widely taught in secondary schools

Rywka Lipszyc – the diary of a young Polish girl discovered at Auschwitz, detailing her experience, up to her death, in the Holocaust


George Orwell – a diary of research – a lesser known book by a familiar name - to inspire pupils to look closer to home for tales of interest


Captain Scott – the famous diary following the course of his unsuccessful expedition to conquer the South Pole

Ernest Shackleton – the explorer’s diary of the 20 month expedition to rescue himself and his crew from a ship crushed by sea ice

Food technology

The Great School Bake Off – recipes as a source of stories: family traditions and customs


Frieda Kahlo

Leonardo da Vinci

These could inspire cross-curricular projects, which may persuade reluctant journal writers that there are multimodal ways to record the world.

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