It used to be that students could simply start their compositions by diving straight in to describe what's provided in the 4 sequential pictures.
Now, with the new PSLE composition format, the 3 pictures provided are no longer sequential, allowing students the flexibility to write their own introduction, body and conclusion.
With this change, it is now more important than ever before for students to know how to begin their compositions, develop their plot and conclude their stories beautifully and coherently.
Which is why I have created the Composition Writing Made Simple Framework.
At a glance, this framework is nothing new. Who doesn't know that a composition is made up of Introduction, Body and Conclusion?
That is true.
Most students know that.
However, do they know what to write for each of these segments?
This is where the Framework is helpful.
Let's take a look at the Introduction.
HOW TO WRITE AN INTRODUCTION
There are many ways to write an introduction. Most students have been told that they could begin their compositions with 'Speech', 'Sound', 'Setting' and even 'Flashback'.
The problem I have seen is, many students begin their compositions with one of these methods but do not know how to continue after that!
So, they write a direct speech for the first sentence... and are clueless on what to write next.
Or they start with a sound such as "Ding! Dong!" the doorbell rang.... but do not know how to continue!
2 SIMPLE WAYS TO BEGIN ANY COMPOSITION
In the Composition Writing Made Simple Framework, I teach students 2 simple ways to begin a composition. In fact, these 2 types of introduction can be used for almost any composition topic!
1. CHARACTER-FOCUSED INTRODUCTION
As the name suggests, this type of introduction focuses on the character.
Students can still begin with a Speech, or a Sound but do not just stop there!
They move on to describe the character's Actions and Feelings.
Just remember the acronym "SAFE":
2. SETTING-FOCUSED INTRODUCTION
This type of introduction is focused on describing the setting.
Setting refers to the Time and Place where the story takes place.
When describing setting, students should make use of their 5 senses.
Imagine that you were in that place, ask yourself:
What could I see? What could I hear? Smell? Touch? Taste?
Let's take the example of a school canteen.
Make a list of all that you can see, smell, hear, touch or taste.
From that list, choose a few phrases / sentences to write your introduction.
You can see that the above examples of introductions are written without the use of any bombastic or impressive phrases, yet they are able to paint a vivid picture in the readers' minds.
DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF A WELL-WRITTEN INTRODUCTION
Writing a good introduction is important if you want the reader to be drawn into the story and to continue reading the rest of your story.
Instead of teaching our kids to memorise bombastic sentences to begin their compositions, (especially those flowery weather descriptions that have nothing to do with the story!) we should be teaching them the skills to craft out their own introductions.
However, I am aware that developing these skills takes time. In fact, writing is a difficult skill to teach, as the fruits and results might not be evident within a short time.
The question we have to ask ourselves as parents and educators is:
Are we going for a quick fix or do we want our kids to develop life-long writing skills?
If your child is struggling with writing a decent piece of composition, or if you want your child to learn the skills of crafting his/her own sentences instead of memorising others' model sentences, the Composition Writing Made Simple Framework eCourse will be a useful tool.