How do most children, especially those in Lower Primary, begin their compositions?
Without a doubt, it would be with weather description.
Weather description is one of the easiest ways for young writers (6 to 8 years old) to begin their compositions. This is also usually the first story starter that they are being taught in school.
For children who are weak in the language, writing a good weather description can be an easy and effective way to get them started in their composition.
However, I personally do not like flowery weather descriptions such as this:
"The sky was an expanse of sapphire blue, dotted with feathery white clouds as the radiant rays of the sun shone brightly in the azure blue sky."
Can I just say such sentences make my hair stand?
Simple words can sometimes be more effective than bombastic ones.
These are some of the weather descriptions written by my P1 and P2 students:
"It was a cool and breezy evening. A strong gust of wind blew against my face."
"It was a bright and sunny morning. White, fluffy clouds drifted across the sky."
"Lightning flashed across the sky. A storm was coming."
Short. Simple. Readable.
Most importantly, they are natural, something which children can understand, remember and apply in their writing.
For children who are really weak in the language, even writing a simple sentence to describe a sunny day can be difficult. These children often resort to starting their compositions with "Last weekend, we went...." or "During the school holidays, Peter was...".
So, how can children be taught to write weather descriptions?
I like to get my students to do brainstorming in class.
1. Brainstorm and make a list of all kinds of weather that you can think of.
2. For each weather type, imagine how the sky, sun, clouds and other weather elements look like.
Describe them in simple, readable English.
Weather Type: BRIGHT AND SUNNY
Describe the sun:
- shines brilliantly
- like a fire ball
Describe the sky:
- clear, blue sky
Describe the clouds:
- white, fluffy clouds
- sunlit clouds
3. Form sentences using some of these descriptions.
It was a bright and sunny day. The sun shone brilliantly in the clear, blue sky.
It was a bright and sunny day. White, fluffy clouds drifted across the clear, blue sky.
Believe me, most children are able to come up with beautiful weather descriptions without resorting to the method of memorising huge chunks of unreadable flowery language.
Download the FREE Brainstorming Sheet for Weather Description here: