By encouraging children to keep diaries a range of educational benefits occur. The children improve their general literacy skills, investigation, ability to use the laptop, to record their lives and stories, and of course gives them a chance to demonstrate to their peers and teachers their skills and creativity. We have found that young children in particular have demonstrated literacy improvements through this simple exercise. It also gives the child a way to incorporate their parents and friends into their task.
Pia Waugh on the advice of Australian teachers. Many thanks to Mrs and Mr Kiely for their wonderful input! An OLPC Friends Project.
Suggested Age Group
5-12 years old
Subjects and Skills
- Collaboration - the children "buddy up" with each pair being an older and a younger child, and then the buddies critique each other's work before presentation to the class. This introduces new vocabulary, spellchecking, and peer support.
- Literacy - by documenting their activities the children are continually using and expanding their vocabulary and spelling.
- Media skills - children should be encouraged to use photos, video, & audio as part of their diaries.
Goals and Objectives
This is very simple. A weekly diary of the childs activities and projects, to be presented to the class and done in collaboration with a "buddy". Teachers can also use the content for yearly review and reports to parents.
Just the XOs and some imagination.
- Simply ask the children to start keeping a weekly diary using the Write activity, ensuring they save the entries under something appropriate like "Diary - Sept 28th 2008" so they can easily search for and find their diary entries from the Journal. Instruct the children on adding photos, changing the text, and other basic Write functionality if they don't already know.
- Get the children to present their diary entries every week in the classroom.
- If you choose to introduce the buddy system, allow children time in class to buddy-up and write their entries so they get the positive feedback from their peers and class time to ask any questions of the educator.
Extended Activity 1
- Children could be encouraged to do an end of year report in groups or 4 or so that could be presented to the parents and teachers. This would encourage pride in their activities and provide some tangible reporting back to the parents and teachers.