I visited the Isles of Scilly earlier this term. Early in the morning, the boat dropped me at the stone harbour on Tresco. Just behind the sandy bay was the school. Denise's class was in the middle of work on "The wreck of the Zanzibar" and had been writing diaries in role.
I'm always on the lookout for ideas that give the children a chance to "talk the text". Oral rehearsal is a chance to refine ideas and sentences so that writing is easier. As I listened in to one child talking about his diary entry, my eye fell upon the computer. It occurred to me that children in role as characters could enter a "diary room" and recount events. These could be compared to see who most accurately portrayed the book, capturing the mood of the character and their emotion*
Pie Corbett is a literacy consultant