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Samuel Pepys - Diary Writing

This week, we are going to continue thinking about 'The Great Fire of London', but we are going to be finding out about a man who helped us to know about this important historical event.  His name was Samuel Pepys. He lived in London in 1666, and he saw what happened during the fire.  He wrote a diary, and in it he explained what he saw happening during this frightening time. 



We would like you to write a diary for one day in your life.  Think back to last week, or even just to yesterday.  Write about what you did on that one day.  Try to make your writing interesting using adjectives and different ways to start your sentences.  Don't forget to start your sentences with a capital letter, and finish sentences with the correct punctuation.  I would like to hear lots of detail, so try to include as much as you can remember.  You can also mention your feelings.  This makes a diary much more interesting. 

Do email your diary writing to your teacher.  We would love to read your work.


Look carefully at the picture of the portrait of Samuel Pepys, (document below).  

We would like you to write a description of Samuel Pepys.  Describe his physical features, e.g. hair, eyebrows, cheeks, nose, mouth, clothes, etc.  However, try to also think about what his personality may have been like.  Does he look a happy, jolly sort of person, or does he look more serious?  

Do please send us your descriptions.  We would like to read what you have written.


In 1666, do you think Samuel Pepys wrote his diary using a biro or a pencil?

Well he didn't have either of those writing instruments.  He used a quill pen.

A quill pen is made from a feather.  It had to be quite a large feather, because the tip had to be quite strong enough to be cut to the right shape to use for writing.

Would you like to have a go at making a quill pen which you could use for writing?

Here is a website which gives you some instructions about how to make a simple quill pen and ink. 


Once you have made your quill and ink, have a go at using it for writing.  You could copy out the rhyme 'London's Burning'.  This rhyme is about the 'The Great Fire of London'.


Today, we would like you to listen to an account of what happened to a little girl called Isabell, who managed to escape from 'The Great Fire of London'.  While you are listening, you need to write some notes about what Isabell and her family saw and did on each day.  You may find it easier to stop the recording now and again, so you can write down some of the things you have heard as you go along.


Look back at your notes which you wrote yesterday, whilst listening to Isabell's account of escaping from 'The Great Fire of London'.    

Choose one day, and write a page in Isabell's diary about that day.  You need to pretend you are Isabell, so you will need to use the pronoun 'I'.  Try to explain what was happening using some well chosen descriptive words (adjectives and adverbs).  Also, remember to include how you feel.  This was a terrifying experience for Isabell!

Don't forget to start sentences with a capital letter, and finish with the correct punctuation.  

You could write your diary on paper, and then send a photo of your work to your teacher by email.  Instead, you could type your writing into a word document, and email that instead.  We look forward to reading your diary writing.