Monday, March 8, 2010

Essay Writing for Primary School

Things to take note in coaching essay writing (for Primary 3).

The marking criteria is split into two main categories - content and language - and for a good cause. Writing is an avenue to express and share ideas/thoughts. Hence content is important. As for language, it is a set of tools to help us convey what we want to say.

For primary school, the child is still picking up new vocabulary. So essay writing is an area where he/she can see how the new vocabulary spice up his writing. Similes, metaphors and idioms are fun way to jazz up a piece of work. This is because they conjure up vivid images of what you are writing. We also need to have connectors to help the reader understand what we are writing from one point to another.

Below is one recent example which I coach my boy to do. I have used the colour codes on the items which I highlighted to my boy to take note in essay writing. You may want to try it for size.

P/s: Though I send my boy for tuition in composition, I still prefer to teach him the finer points in writing. This is because I see better results in my boy - he enjoys the session better, laughing as we try to use the various tools in the writing - and in myself - I learn new vocabulary, simile, metaphors and idioms alongside him.

Picture Composition

It was a mundane day and Sam was doing his homework at home as usual. He was trying to keep awake in the stifling heat and decided to on the air-conditioner in the end. As he moved to close the window, he saw a suspicious, young man loitering near the public telephone booth. The untidy crook was trying to pry open the telephone using some tools.

Momentarily, Sam was rooted to the ground. He was standing as still as a statue, not knowing what to do next. A thought struck him and as quiet as the grave, he tiptoed to the living room to dial '999'. The police officer told Sam to keep a lookout for the man.

Within minutes, sirens were heard and the police had arrived. The dishevelled man panicked and took to his heels. Unfortunately, the police surrounded the area. He was handcuffed and sent to the police station. Subsequently, he was sentenced to a year in jail. As for Sam, the police commended him for his public-spiritedness and quick thinking.


My Dream House (Journal Writing)

I imagine that I am Jack in 'Jack and the Beanstalk'. Just that the magic bean will not lead me to the giant's castle but my dream house in the sky.

My dream house has a roof that is made of red, delicious apples and bright, cheerful oranges. The windows and door are made of groovy grapes and marvellous mangoes. The mere thought of it makes my mouth water. I can smell the fruity aroma wafting through the air.

When I am hungry, I can eat voraciously the glorious fruits. Peals of laughters would fill the air as I know that there will be loads of fun with my parents and brother around. We will be able to use the rainbow as slide and puffy clouds as our beds.

I know I am only building castles in the air, but maybe one day, our great scientist will make my dream come true.

P/s: You will notice that there is also a deliberate attempt to use phrases associated with "air" such as "... wafting through the air", "Peals of laughters would fill the air", and "building castles in the air".

I have also introduced the concept of alliteration here as in "groovy grapes" and "marvellous mangoes". Learn to write English like musical notes!

1 comment:

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