Zlata’s Diary literacy lesson ideas

A unit of work linking PSHE, Citizenship and Literacy, based on the diary of a child caught up in conflict.

Zlata's Diary
Zlata’s Diary cover image

A group of teachers in Lincolnshire have produced units of work based on resources to identify cross-curricular learning opportunities. The development of a teacher network was an outcome of teacher involvement in a pilot project in Lincolnshire schools. In 2002, the East Midlands Network for Global Perspectives in Schools carried out the pilot projects in Nottingham, Derbyshire and Lincolnshire as part of the DFID Enabling Effective Support Strategy.

One unit of work that linked PSHE, Citizenship and Literacy was based on Zlata’s Diary (Key Stage 2). A summary of preparatory work and suggestions for whole class shared text work are provided below for these subject areas:

Literacy Objective

  • To write accounts based on personal experiences

PSHE and Citizenship Objectives

  • That differences and similarities between people arise from a number of factors, including cultural, ethnic, social and religious diversity, gender and disability.

Preparatory Work/ Background Information

  • Explain the context of Zlata’s diary.
  • Explain where Sarajevo is and its political and historical situation.

Suggestions for whole class shared text work:

Sessions 1/2

Share together diary entries for Sunday 6th October and Wednesday 23rd October 1991 and 14th January 1992. With their talking partner consider the questions they would like to ask Zlata if she was with them eg. “Where is Dubrovnik?” “Why is there a war going on?” “What is Monkey in the Middle?” “What is MTV?” “Why is BRAVELY in bold capitals?” (At this point a decision must be made as to whether the children will research the answers at home or if background information is given as part of another lesson).

Construct a timeline of the main events from the first three diary entries.

Sessions 3/4

Read together the rest of the diary (March – 27th May) and continue the timeline.

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Teaching resources:

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