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tips primary 5 english



Tips on preparing Primary 5 students for their PSLE year in Term 4

As students head towards the end of term 3 and move on to Term 4, I begin to prepare my P5 students for their transition into their PSLE year. I do so by:

  1. Getting them to work on Grammar & Vocabulary practices on primary 6 papers and assessment books

  2. Writing the same composition themes as the Primary 6 classes


In our last composition in class, we wrote on the theme of Being late. During the planning stage I gave both my P5 and P6 students the same instructions. Plan by keeping the theme in mind and use the Cause and Effect model. (Because the protagonist was late, a series of consequences should then follow).

Looking at the Primary 5 student’s composition (model below) and Primary 6 composition model about being late, what should a primary 5 student take note of in their compositions as they prepare for the PSLE year?


Descriptions

Many of my Primary 6 students are highly descriptive in their compositions. Even a simple action of the protagonist getting out of bed, is described in detail. They add in emotions and even humour.


Writing techniques

The use of writing techniques such as creative similes and personal thought are used in the compositions


Characterisations

The protagonists and other characters are brought to life in a more vivid way. P6 students are able to use the character’s personal reflection to bring about the theme and the lesson learnt


The use of the theme

While both of my Primary 5 and Primary 6 students used the theme well in their model compositions here, generally, P5 students forget to use theme or do not know how to bring about the theme in their stories. By now, most P6 students should know and understand the importance of the theme in their stories.


The lack of grammatical mistakes

By now, most of my P6 students have stopped making grammatical and structural mistakes in their compositions. Their stories are fluid except for a few tenses and spelling mistakes. While the P5 model I chose had few grammatical mistakes, generally P5 students still make structural and even ‘paragraph-ing’ errors. This is a normal transition as they begin to challenge themselves in creating more complex sentences and plots and lengthening their stories. While normal, it should be something worked on diligently to be rectified as they approach the P6 year.

Remember to start preparing for the P6 year early by writing regularly. The PSLE year will fly by and by starting early, you will eliminate any last minute panic and worry close to the PSLE year.


P5 Model : Being Late

              Late. Late. Late. The word had been ringing in my mind for the last five minutes. I was sitting on my bed in my bedroom after being yelled at by mother for being late one too many times. I never seemed to be able to be on time. Even after my mother gave me a watch, I still remained late to everything as I did not have the habit of checking the time often. After all, being late was not such a bad habit. I knew of other children with worse habits.

              As I was lost in my thoughts, I heard a few knocks on my bedroom door. Before I had a chance to reply, the door creaked open and my mother stepped in.

“I am leaving for work. Since I won’t be back till late tonight, I want you to pick up your sister from the childcare at 5pm sharp!” The word ‘sharp’ rang in the air like a knife. I rolled my eyes and nodded. She turned around again, narrowing her eyes at me, “And remember, don’t be late!”

              I looked at the clock on the wall. It was only noon. I still had plenty of time before I needed to fetch Sophie. I told myself that I could not be late to pick her up. Since my mother had trusted me with the responsibility, she would never trust me to do anything again if I let her down.

I spent the next few hours watching a movie while snacking on some popcorn in an air-conditioned house alone. This was the life. Enjoying myself without a care in the world. Taking a quick glance at the clock I realised that it was 15 minutes to 5pm. I was going to be late! I stuffed my phone, an umbrella and my wallet into my purse and dashed out of the house. I ran as fast as my legs could carry me to the nearest bus-stop as I saw the bus pull up at the bus-stop. Just as I was about to step into the bus-stop, I tripped and fell. Ouch! I had grazed my knee and finger. Worst still, the bus had driven off.

              I checked the SG transport app on my phone and the next bus would only arrive in 10 minutes. I sat down in defeat as I wrapped a band aid around my bleeding finger. I was going to be so late! Finally, the bus arrived and after a not so short drive, I was at the childcare centre. I was more than 40 minutes late and I hoped that Sophie would not squeal on me to mother.

I knocked on the door of the childcare and an elderly lady appeared. Before I could speak she said, “No one here. All teachers and children have gone home.” Then she slammed the door. My eyes widened in horror. How could that be? How did she go home? Maybe she had wandered off. I searched the area, asking people if they had seen my sister. As I searched more frantically, my heart pounded in my chest. If only I had not been late. I would not be searching for my sister who was now lost!

              After 40 minutes of searching, tears welled up in my eyes. I gave up and went home. When I arrived home, I opened the door to find Sophie standing next to my mother. “Sophie!” I cried in relief as I ran over to hug her. Since no one had picked up Sophie, the teacher had called my mother who then had to leave work early to pick her up.

              My mother was furious with me and grounded me for a month. I made my bed and now I had to lie in it. I accepted my punishment and promised to turn over a new leaf. This incident taught me never to be late again.

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