Mystery of the Missing Echidna

play by A J Armstrong , illustrated by Michel Streich

Learning intentions:

I am learning to analyse and interpret information in a text so that I can create a diary entry using the characters and world from that text.


Success criteria:

  • I can infer character personalities based on dialogue.
  • I can write a diary entry based on the characters and the world of an existing text.
  • I can create an illustration to portray characterisation in a text.


Essential knowledge:

  • More information about character can be found in the English Textual Concepts video Character.


After reading the play as a class, students write a list of the characters in the play and their personalities. Encourage students to look at the dialogue for clues. As an example, direct students to Judge Powerful Owl’s dialogue on page 21 stating that ‘owls are not fowl, despite the spelling and rhyme.’ This suggests Owl is a clever character who knows about the world.


Once students have an idea of the characters’ personalities, they are to choose one character and write a diary entry from that character’s point of view of the events of the day. Remind students that diary entries are:

  • written in first person point of view
  • written in the past tense
  • informal and can therefore contain colloquial language.

Remind students that their language choice will change depending on their character’s personality. For example, as a clever character, the Powerful Owl’s diary might start:

There was a murder case in court today, and as such I had to rise well after my

bedtime to adjudicate.

On the other hand, Professor Katie Kookaburra’s diary entry might start:

Cor blimey, I got to testify in court today! It all started with a call during my

morning cackle.


An illustration will accompany the diary entry. Students should consider what kind of clothes their character would wear depending on their personality, as well as their body language and facial expression. They can use the illustrations from the play to assist them. If you have a digital subscription, the class can complete the interactive activity Characterisation in Illustration for ideas.