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Primary 6 English Composition: An unforgettable event

This is the second composition theme my Primary 6 students are attempting for January. This theme was set for the 2019 English Preliminary for one of my students last year.

I felt that this theme and the pictures given were not as easy to write about as some students believed. The pictures given were quite random and choosing an event that is unforgettable needs some careful thinking.

I gave my students two points to consider before they began planning.

  1. Choose your picture(s) carefully and make sure that it/they is/are integrated in your story.
  2. Make sure that the event is hard to forget and that it has changed the character in some way.

As expected, the planning stage for this theme, took longer than usual as students tried to plan around the parameters I had set. I also had to reject some ideas and asked students to re-think their plots.

Overall, it was a good exercise for my students as they re-evaluated their plots and stretched themselves out of their comfort zones.

Below is the model from one of my students. I felt that as writer, she has really moved out of good but simplistic plots in her Primary 5 year to more complex plots and characters as she begins her Primary 6 year. Her attempts at using the pictures are also commendable. It is never easy for children to generate ideas and creative plots within 5 minutes!

            Sweat was dripping off me as I walked into the floating village. I looked around me. Everything was so different from what I was used to. In Singapore, there were skyscrapers and the hustle and bustle of a fast paced life. However, in the floating village, it was extremely hot and humid. Small wooden houses stood beside one another.

            My school had organised an educational trip to Cambodia for primary six pupils. Not everyone was invited to go. Only a few select students who passed an interview could go for this trip. As I loved visiting new places in the world and had yet to visit Cambodia, I got my parents’ permission and went for the interview. To my delight, I managed to pass the interview!

            The next month, a group of students and I flew off to Cambodia. At first, I had trouble getting used to the environment as I was used to city life. When I was in the floating village, I saw a lot of things that I never had the chance to see before. There were dirt and grime everywhere and not a single computer, phone or electronic device was in sight. I was reconsidering my decision to go on this trip as I sidestepped muddy puddles.

            As we walked around the village, I began to take notice of the children around me. A young girl was struggling to carry her baby brother in her arms as she  rushed past me. Just then, I saw a young boy, about my age. His hands were outstretched, begging for food as we walked past him. The boy was extremely thin and weak. It was obvious that he had not enough food to eat. His clothes were tattered and far too big for him. When I looked down I could see a large, bloody scab at the edge of his right foot.

Where are his shoes? Why is he walking around without a bandage or something to cover his feet? I asked myself, looking down at my new pair of sneakers my mother had bought me before my trip.

            My heart broke at the sight of this pitiful little boy. What made things worse was that he was not the only one. Many children in the village were like him, living in poverty.  No one deserves this, I thought to myself.

            As we continued walking around the village, this unforgettable sight, made me reflect on myself. Ever since I was a young child, I was pampered with all sorts of things, including things I did not need. I had ten pairs of sneakers while this boy had none. I never once thought that some children would be begging just to have some food to eat while I asked for the newest devices from my parents. A wave of guilt washed over me. I really wanted to help these children before I left. But how?

            I told my teacher and the group about how I felt and that we should help the children in some way. My teacher agreed and together we pooled our money and bought food from shops nearby the village for the children.

            When we passed the food around to the children in the village, the smiles on their faces were the best reward! Before leaving the village, we chatted with some of the children and learnt about their lives. I hugged some of the children and thanked them for this unforgettable experience.

            This experience made me change for the better. I decided to be more frugal and buy only what I needed. I also saved up my allowance to donate to the less fortunate. This Cambodia trip was indeed an unforgettable event.

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