Primary 6 Composition – A dangerous situation

I gave my P6 students the same boundaries I had set for my P5s (click here to read the post) in terms of setting (restaurant), dangerous situation (a fire) and descriptive phrases to use.

The only difference was that they were given a challenge, which was to write the story from an uncommon viewpoint – that of the arsonist in their story. I am glad to say that many of my students took up the challenge with enthusiasm. Writing a story from the viewpoint of an unusual character can be very exciting for P5s and P6s. Everyone wants to be the hero in the story. No one wants to be the bully or the thief or in this case, the arsonist. Yet, trying to tell a story from their point of view can open up exciting prospects in the development of characters in one’s story.

Surely, it will take some getting used to and some students, no matter how hard they try, fall short of the mark. Aside from the daunting prospect of writing their piece in 50 minutes, it is also as if they are unable to put their heart and soul into being a ‘bad guy’. That’s fine too. Highly interesting and suspenseful stories can be created from being a ‘good guy’.

However, a well-written piece from the viewpoint of an unusual character can lend the element of surprise, garnering more marks for the student.

Below is the story from one of my students, Audrey.

The highlighted sentences are the phrases she used from the list given.


A Dangerous Situation

Nobody knew my darkest secret. How could they? I was a secretive person. Nobody suspected that I was dangerous, or knew what I usually carried around in my pocket or what I usually clutched in my hand, hoping for an opportunity.

As I walked down the street towards the crowded restaurant, I revised my plan one last time. After which, I opened the water bottle in my hand, slightly. The water bottle contained one of the key ingredients to the success of my plan; alcohol. Although I was not fond of the drink, I knew that it was a necessity to my plan. Entering the restaurant, I felt a rush of cool air brush against my face. I could hear the loud conversations customers were holding and smell the appetising aroma of food fresh from the kitchen. I smirked to myself, knowing the chaos that would soon ensue.

Walking towards an empty table, I carefully dripped the alcohol from the water bottle onto the polished floor, before sitting down. Hastily ordering off the menu for myself, I fished out the small, rectangular box full of matches. I had been waiting for this for too long. Planning the procedure was not an easy task. It took me weeks, nearly months to touch up on my plan. I specifically chose this restaurant, knowing that it was popular to the people in the neighbourhood. Not caring one jot about the noise that I made trying to light the matchstick, I threw the lit matchstick onto the alcohol stained floor and then waited in anticipation. I soon heard the worried voice of a customer who was sitting in front of me.

“Do you smell something burning, Jane?” the customer asked her friend.

“Now that you mention it Peter, yes I do! Where is it coming from?” Jane asked, sniffing the air around her.

Shortly after, everyone heard a loud scream and the sound of a broken plate.

“Fire! Fire in the restaurant!”

To my delight, I turned to see a small fire building up, feeding off the alcohol on the floor. Hearing the cry of ‘Fire’, everyone started to panic. I watched the chaotic scene before me in glee until I felt a tinge of heat close to me. I got up to leave. At first I ran to the exit, thinking I could still make it out alive but just as I was about to open the door, a wall of fire shot up towards the ceiling. The roar grew louder and louder as the fire started to consume everything in its path.

I spun my head around, scanning for any other possible exits. To my utter horror, the wall of fire blocked every path. I ran to the centre of the restaurant, shocked at how fast the fire had grown. I was not alone, other customers were huddled in the centre of the restaurant, gasping for fresh air. I grabbed the nearest source of water I could find which was a half-filled jug of water. I splashed it around our circle, hoping to keep the fire a safe distance away from us. Our faces were covered in soot and sweat and the heat was terrific. Minutes felt like hours as we tried to stay alive in the restaurant which was engulfed by smoke and flames. As I tried to reach for another jug of water, I felt a searing pain on my arm. The white-hot pain began spreading all over my body. I looked down to see burns on my arm, as I trembled in pain.

Suddenly, I heard a thud. The fire fighters had arrived! Someone had called them! They hosed the fire down while some other fire fighters led us out to safety. Most of us were coughing due to smoke inhalation as the paramedics administered first aid to the victims including me.

Thinking back on the dangerous situation, I knew that I had been lucky. Not only had I escaped the fire, but I had also escaped going to jail. No one suspected that it was me who had started the fire. I had learnt my lesson well. I swore to myself to never play with fire again.