Crick Software blog

Gemma Dean

Writing a monk’s diary – resource ideas

18th November 2020

Recently, a teacher Tweeted asking for ideas to support children who struggled the most with their writing. The focus was to write a diary from the perspective of a monk as part of the topic on the Vikings their year 6 pupils were doing. There were loads of fantastic suggestions and several people recommended using Clicker, which was great to see!

The discussion and ideas got me thinking about how I would use Clicker to support children working on this particular topic.

Here are some examples I came up with for how you could use different Clicker Sets to support children working on this task:

Clicker Board and Word Bank

To make sure that children start the activity with lots of ideas, you could discuss the topic as a class first and gather their suggestions in a mind map using a Clicker Board. Some children might want to expand on ideas using Voice Notes. Once your mind map is completed, it can be turned into a Word Bank for writing individual diary entries.

resource ideas - Clicker Board & Word Bank

Cloze Document

To prepare children for a topic before they tackle the main writing task, you could use a Cloze Document. Here, I have taken some text on a typical monk’s daily routine, simplified it and used it to create a Cloze Document. This allows you to check children’s comprehension and introduce appropriate vocabulary.

resource ideas - Cloze

Interview Me - Custom Set

To help children to identify with the task and the role they’re writing about, I have adapted the Interview Me Custom Set from LearningGrids. I’ve changed the image to a Monk as a visual stimulus and changed some of the questions. I have included questions such as ‘Where do you live?’, ‘What are you doing in the picture?’ and ‘What are the rules in your monastery?’. Children can record their answers and use the activity to inform their writing.

resource ideas - Custom Set

Sentence Set

To guide a pupil who struggles to write coherent sentences, a Sentence Set is ideal. I have written a model diary entry, sentence by sentence, for children to recreate. This could work as an example of what a good one looks like or to help a child achieve success in the task. In this example, I have added a ‘View & Copy’ model and Widget symbols as additional prompts.

resource ideas - Sentence Set

Connect Set

Connect Sets provide children with scaffolded support rather than guided sentence-by-sentence structure. Children have more choice in how they put their diary entry together, allowing them to create their own responses to the task. I’ve also placed sentence starters at the top of the grid and used colourful semantics for extra support.

resource ideas - Connect Set

Although these examples are for a specific assignment, you can easily apply the same methods to any kind of writing activity with Clicker 8.

If you have a particular topic or lesson idea that you would like some help with, you can contact me via phone at 01604 671691 or email at

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