One of the challenging components that P3 students face as they move on from P2 is the writing component. Students are expected to now write in clear paragraphs and up to 120 words. Aside from these new demands, P3 students should also be aware of their grammatical mistakes in their compositions and learn how to correct them. The P3 year is the time to start building the foundation for good grammatical structures.
So how do we help our P3 students in their composition writing?
Teacher Nasreen, our P3 teacher has prepared a post on what to look out for as P3 students tackle composition writing and how the Paper 1 component is carried out in her class.
The Planning stage of a composition is important, especially so in the P3 year. Students learn that they need to have clear paragraphs when writing their compositions.
What we do in our P3 class:
In Term 1 our P3 students are taught that every composition should have 5 paragraphs –
Introduction, Rising Action, Falling Action, Climax, and Conclusion.
Our students are guided on what is needed at each stage or paragraph of their compositions. With weekly writing practice, students become aware of the length and expectations for each paragraph.
For example, the Climax is the most important part of the story while the Falling action is when the protagonist finds a solution to a problem he is facing.
In Primary 2, the pictures given in a composition are more straightforward. Usually, Picture 1 is the first paragraph, Picture 2 is the second paragraph, and so on.
In P3, students are required to have a proper Introductory paragraph and Conclusion. The last picture is also replaced by a question mark and in some schools, they are just given 3 linking pictures.
P3 students need to be able to plan part of the Falling Action, as well as their Conclusion.
What we do in our P3 class:
In Term 1, we designed worksheets to help our students use each picture in the composition question correctly. As they gained confidence in writing, the P3 students began planning their own Falling Action and Conclusions in their weekly compositions, using the correct picture as a guide.
In Term 2, our students plan out the whole composition on their own on certain weeks. This is a way for them to build confidence. Phrases are given to help them according to the title of the composition. The students will also begin work on formulating their own descriptive Introduction and reflective Conclusions in the coming weeks.
It is our belief that the P3 year is the year to build a solid grammar foundation. In our experience, if this is not done in the P3 & P4 years, it will affect students in the upper primary years. A good grammatical foundation is essential in both Paper 1 & Paper 2 English components.
When students write compositions, their grammatical mistakes are evident. Punctuation, tenses, and sentence structure mistakes can be clearly seen in compositions.
What do we do in our P3 classes:
While our students work diligently on grammatical structures in their Paper 2 components weekly, we also take the time to give individual feedback to each student on their grammatical mistakes in their compositions. Our students’ compositions are also clues to which areas they may need more help in. For example, if they are making many irregular verb tense mistakes, a list of irregular verbs will be given to them to study.
Below is a composition by one of our P3 students. For this particular composition, students were expected to plan out their Climax, Falling Action, and Conclusion. They were given 3 pictures with a question mark and the pictures were based on a girl cheating in an examination.
It was the day of Sarah’s Science test. She was very anxious as she did not study for the test. She rubbed her eyes wearily and looked at the clock in the classroom. She could not answer a single question on the test paper.
Sarah had been engrossed in playing video games all week. That morning, she realised that she had not studied for her Science test. Then, she had a great idea. She copied down all the Science notes on a sheet of paper. She would copy them in her Science test. She knew that her mother would be fuming mad if she knew that Sarah had copied down the answers in her test but she did not want a big fat zero on her test paper so she decided to give it a try.
During the test, Sarah looked at everyone, thinking that nobody knew that she was cheating. Confidence filled her until suddenly, Sarah saw the teacher looking at her. She quickly hid the paper with the notes but it was too late. He has seen her cheating. The teacher stood up and came to Sarah’s desk. Sarah started sweating profusely and the teacher scolded her harshly. All her classmates looked at her and she was very embarrassed.
Sarah got a big fat zero on her test. Feeling disappointed, she trudged back home. At home, her mother was furious that she had not studied for her test and cheated. Sarah was grounded and she was not allowed to play video games until her next test in two months time. What a price to pay for cheating in an examination!
As the saying goes, Once bitten twice shy. Sarah promised never to cheat again and to always study for her tests.
Primary 3 English tuition class schedule
|Day||Start time||End time|
|Sunday||12.00 pm||2.00 pm|