P4 Composition – Overcoming a challenge
One of the things that we worked on with the P3s and P4s during the September workshop was on how to flesh out their characters. Most students at this age cannot fully understand that the characters in the story are like real people with real feelings. Often, after I have marked their compositions, I’ll ask my students : If you were trapped in a burning building, how would you feel?
Students at this age also lack the skill to describe their characters and thu,s compositions tend to be shorter than that of a P5 or P6 student.
The composition below illustrates the character’s emotions as she goes through failure and then success. I have also used the theme twice in my composition to show the importance of not going out of point.
Why is describing feelings in a story important?
Revealing a character’s feelings through actions
Instead of narrating a character’s emotions, you can describe it through his smile, laughter and even speech
Setting the mood/setting of the story through your character
Describing the feelings of a character can also set the mood of a story. A happy character usually means a happy story.
Example: Celebrating your birthday at your favourite place
The feelings of a character can also contrast the mood/setting of a story. Example: You are feeling sad, celebrating your birthday at your favourite place because you quarreled with your best friend.
My tears rolled down my cheeks and spilled over my English examination paper. A big red ‘F” was written at the top right hand corner of my paper. I kept staring at it, a flood of disappointment and regret overcoming me. How could I have been so lazy? How could I have let this happen? It was the first time that I had failed for an examination.
Mother had given me a dressing down. Her face had turned as red as chilli padi when I handed her my examination paper. Then she glared at me with fire in her eyes. Mother had been reminding me to revise before my examinations but I had been too preoccupied with the new game on my phone called Pokemon Go. I had spent all my time on it, discussing with other players and scheming on how I could get more pokemon characters. Mother had warned me several times to buckle down and study but I had turned a deaf ear. Now I had to face the music. She immediately took away my phone and told me that I would only get it back after I had shown her that I was capable of getting good marks in the next examination.
That night, I cried myself to sleep. I was ashamed that I had disobeyed mother and worse still, my classmates were all laughing at me because I was the only one who had failed the examination. I promised myself that I would work hard for the next English examination and achieve my best.
The next day, I set out to overcome the challenge. Every evening, I would revise my work thoroughly, reading back my notes. During weekends, I would do practice work in my assessment books. When the next examination arrived, I was ready for it! Even though I was nervous, I attempted to do my best. During the examination, I struggled with a few questions but I did not leave out any blanks. Instead, I tried my best and checked my work thoroughly. I prayed that I would do well.
A week later, my English teacher announced that we would be getting back our examination papers. I fidgeted anxiously as I waited for the results. When my teacher handed me the paper, I gingerly flipped it open and to my amazement I had scored 98! I was on cloud nine. I beamed all day at school, waiting to get home to tell my mother the good news. When mother saw me skipping back home with joy, she knew that I had done well. She congratulated me and returned me my phone. However, I told her that she could keep it as I did not want to be distracted again.
I was proud of myself for the effort that I had put in and for overcoming the challenge.