P5 / PSLE Composition – Using the theme

The holidays are over and school life begins once again! Let’s start off the week with a post about using the theme in your compositions. This was one of the writing techniques we worked on during the June holiday workshops. The other one was on Creative Similes and we had some fun with that 🙂

Today’s post is about a composition I worked on with my P5s and P6s before the June holidays. I didn’t have time to post this till now. The reason this composition stands out is because firstly, the theme has appeared more than once in the past 2 years and for both P5s and P6s. Secondly, while my students are pretty good at using the theme in compositions (after almost weekly reminders), sadly, I could not find a model that used both the criteria I set out for them at the Planning stage. 

The theme was A Celebration Gone Wrong and the criteria I set out was to describe the celebration and then show what went wrong. Some had great descriptive celebrations while others missed out. Or the ‘thing’ that went wrong did not seem grave enough to warrant a lot of marks for Content. 

Thus, on the morning when I finished marking all the scripts I sat down and wrote my own Model Composition. Yes, today’s one is mine. My students were disappointed that I could not find one among all the scripts. I am actually happy that they were disappointed because it shows (to me anyway) that they take pride in their writing and want theirs to be picked as a Model. Ok so, here are the pictures and the Model.

I have highlighted when I used the theme – ‘Celebration’ and ‘Gone Wrong’. 



Illustration:



The aroma of my grandmother’s fish head curry wafted through the air even before we could open the grand door to her bungalow. Father gave a big smile to us before dashing in to hug his 80 year-old mother. Ah Ma, as we fondly called her, was our sweet grandmother who lived in Johor Bahru in Malaysia. Every Chinese New Year, we would drive to her big bungalow from Singapore and celebrate the new year with our Malaysian relatives. I used to love the rustic look of the old black and white bungalow and vintage furniture that Ah Ma still kept, when I was younger. But now that I was older I resented travelling all the way to Malaysia just to celebrate the new year while my friends stayed in Singapore, playing games on their computers or going to amusement parks.  

“Why do we have to go there again? Ah ma doesn’t even have wifi!” I lamented to my parents before leaving.            

As usual, my parents ignored me and we took the long journey to Malaysia. The living room was filled with relatives shouting out celebratory greeting and well wishes for the new year. I tried my best to smile and answer questions as the celebration moved to the dining area. Plates of sumptuous food were laid out on the long and wide table that Ah Ma only used for the Chinese New Year. I forgot my resentment for the next thirty minutes and gobbled up everything in sight. Ah Ma was the best cook!            

After dinner I sat sullenly on the sofa, staring at my phone. No wifi. What can I possibly do now? I thought miserably. Just then, my uncle slapped me on my leg and said, “I have a surprise for you in the garden my boy. This year I bought firecrackers and later when the adults are free, we can light up some firecrackers!”            

Firecrackers? Aren’t they illegal in Singapore? Wouldn’t it be great if I could film myself lighting up firecrackers? My friends would be so jealous! I smirked gleefully to myself. I looked around for my parents and after finding them still munching away and catching up with relatives, I started to bug them about the firecrackers. Mother finally gave me a deadly stare and her eyes alone said, “Do not touch those firecrackers!” I slinked away and decided that it was my time then to have my own celebration. Why should I always have to listen to my parents?            

Grabbing a lighter from a table, I sneaked out into the garden. I searched only for a minute before finding a cardboard box filled with red cylindrical objects. I picked up one firecracker from the box and decided to do a test run with just a firecracker. I had never seen a firecracker before let alone light up one. However, I was determined to have my ownfun at the celebration.            

Struggling to use the lighter, I lit up the end of a firecracker. Immediately a loud sizzling sound was heard. The flame moved quickly upward. What do I do now? I thought in panic and without thinking, I dropped the lit firecracker back into the cardboard box. At first nothing happened as I leaned over to look inside but then loud explosions were heard. Embers shot out from the cardboard box landing on my bared arms and face. I screamed in pain as I backed away from the burning box. The fire spread quickly on the dry grassy patch and soon part of the garden was ablaze. My relatives poured out of the bungalow now shouting instructions to one another on how to put out the fire. Mother came to me and her shocked look revealed how badly my burns were. She tended to me while my old grandmother was whisked outside the gate for safety. It took the adults fifteen minutes of hard work but the small fire was put out. The stench of the burnt firecrackers and grass lingered in the air. Our Chinese New Year celebration was truly over.            

I was taken to the Emergency room at a nearby hospital to treat my painful burns and I had to be hospitalised for three days. My parents were very disappointed in me for ruining our family’s celebrations. I had learnt an important lesson that day. I apologised to all my relatives for putting their lives in danger due to my disobedience and impatience.