What To Look Out For When Correcting P3 Compositions

As we approach the end of the school 1st term, I have taken note of the steady progress of my P3 students in their Composition writing. They are now able to express their ideas in complete sentences, organize their ideas in 3 paragraphs and most importantly, write with greater ease and speed! In the last test I gave them with just a box of Helping Words (we had previously worked on according to the theme of the month) all of them were able to do all the above skills on their own and within 45 minutes.

However, there is still work to be done in certain areas, mainly:

  • stringing ideas together – most use ‘And then..’ repeatedly
    There is a need to work on how Conjunctions and phrases can help link their ideas in a smooth flow
  • Grammatical Structures – mainly Punctuation and Tenses

What can parents look out for when correcting their P3 child’s Compositions? Here are some main points that I personally look out for.


Language

1) Sentence structure:

The child must be able to write a full sentence, correctly placing Subject, Verb, Adjective etc. Without this, there will be great difficulty in expressing his ideas even if they are very creative ones.

2) Punctuation:

This is one structure that surprisingly all my P3 students have difficulty in! (I think the P1 & P2 teachers really need to spend more time on this). Many use commas to end a sentence or simply combine many sentences together just by using many commas. Some have no Capital Letters throughout their compositions. I have spent a lot of time working on this individually with each child.


3) Tenses:

Simple Past/Present/ Present Continuous are used correctly.


4) Linking words

As mentioned above, children need to find words/phrases to link up sentences and ideas. Instead of ‘and then’ or ‘but’, they should start using Conjunctions such as ‘However’ or phrases such as ‘To my horror’ ‘Out of the blue’.


Content

1) Able to come up with ideas without prompting from just the theme or title. For example last month we worked on the theme of Crime. We wrote compositions on A Pickpocket, A Burglary and A Thief. We described how they would look like, why you would be suspicious, where these incidents would take place, how you would react and of course how to start and end. A test at the end of the month with just the theme given (Write a story about a crime you witnessed) was given to them and they were able to create their own story with their own characters.


2) Ideas must be organized in 3 (or more) clear paragraphs. This is to show that they are able to sequence their ideas without the aid of pictures.


3) Descriptions- Basic or complex must be present in their story. For example, describing a burglar, a setting, or action in a story. Use of idioms or simple proverbs.


4) A proper introduction and ending


5) Able to write the story confidently within 40-50 mins.