Writing is not among the top favourite activities of primary school students. Ask a child whether he likes to write and you are most likely to get a firm, “No!” 

Rare is the child who loves and enjoys writing.

In my years of teaching and coaching kids in writing, I have come across a few rare ones. They love to write and compose stories.  Give them a topic or a picture, and they are able to get started almost immediately. With enthusiasm, no less!

However, this is not the case for the majority of students.

Does your child love and enjoy writing?
Or does your child resist it and avoid it like the plague?

Unfortunately, composition writing is like Math. You have to take the subject in school, whether you like it or not and whether you are good at it or not. Especially in Primary School.

The question I like to address is: 
If my child has no choice but to write in school, how can I make it easier for him to learn the skills of writing a composition?

I am going to simplify the process of writing a composition, for a primary school child who does not like to write and is not good at writing.

First of all, let’s talk about the parts of a primary school composition.

The 3 Parts of a Primary School Composition

Primary school compositions are made up of 3 parts:

1. The Beginning 
Also known as the introduction.

2. The Body
This is where the main action of the story is.

3. The Ending
Also known as the conclusion.

It is easy for a child to learn how to write the introduction and the conclusion well. In the Writing Academy, I teach the practical and simplified steps to write an introduction and a conclusion.

In this post, I would like to talk about the BODY of the composition. This is where the majority of the marks go to, the part that determines whether a story is written according to the topic or out of point. The part which determines the number of marks awarded for Content.

In other words, this can be considered a very important part of a piece of composition in primary school.

The 3 Parts of the Body of a Composition

The body of a composition can be further broken up into 3 smaller parts, depending on the topic.

For composition topics that do not have a problem involved, the body can be made up of:

  • Event 1
  • Event 2
  • Event 3

However, this kind of topic is rare.

In most composition topics, the character faces a problem. In such compositions, the body will be made up of:

  • Events Leading to the Problem (or Events Before the Problem)
  • The Problem
  • The Solution (or resolution)

Planning the Body of A Composition

Let’s look at how we can plan the body of a composition, given the composition question below.

EXAMPLE 1

Write a composition on the topic An Unforgettable Incident.  These are the 3 pictures given:

First of all, decide what the unforgettable incident is. If the pictures given are helpful, they should give you some ideas on what the unforgettable incident could be. From the 3 pictures provided above, I could write about an unforgettable incident during a camping trip, being attacked by bees or an encounter with a snake.

I could also combine 2 of the above pictures, such as Picture 1 and 2, or Picture 1 and 3, to come up with a story about being attacked by bees during a camping trip or encountering a snake during a camping trip.

If I were to use all 3 pictures, I would be writing about a camping trip and encountering bees and a snake. However, that story might be too long and there could be a lack of focus.

To give an example of how to plan the BODY of this composition, I will choose Picture 1 and 2, to write about being chased by bees during a camping trip.

This is how I will plan the BODY of this composition – An Unforgettable Incident:

Events Leading to the Problem (or Events Before the Problem)

​Ask yourself these questions:

  • What was I doing before the problem?
  • What led to the problem?

Possible answers:
I was camping with my friends in a forest.
We saw a beehive and a friend challenged us to throw stones at the hive.
We started throwing stones at the beehive.

  • How did you feel?

We were having an exciting time.

The Problem

  • What was the problem?

The bees were agitated and flew out of the hive.
They started chasing and attacking us.

  • How did you feel?

We were shocked.

The Solution (or resolution)

  • How was the problem solved?

We ran and jumped into a river and stayed there until the bees were gone.

  • How did you feel?

We felt relieved and thankful that none of us were hurt.

From the planning above, you can see that there are 3 important aspects of a well-developed composition:

1) There is a clear sequencing of events
2) There are actions to be described
3) There are feelings of the characters to be described

From here, you can start writing a detailed and well-developed BODY of the composition by describing what happened to the characters and their responses (ACTIONS and FEELINGS). Include some dialogue to make your story more interesting.


Let’s take a look at another example.

EXAMPLE 2

Write a composition on the topic A Kind Act.  These are the 3 pictures given:

Now, decide what the problem of the story is. From the pictures given, I can write about helping an elderly with her groceries (Picture 1), helping a lost girl find her parents when I was shopping with my grandmother (Picture 1 and 2), returning a wallet that I found when shopping with my grandmother (Picture 1 and 3), helping a crying girl find her lost wallet (Picture 2 and 3), just to name a few.I will choose Picture 1, to write a story about helping an elderly with her groceries.

This is how I will plan the BODY of this composition – A Kind Act:

Events Leading to the Problem (or Events Before the Problem)

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What was I doing before the problem?
  • What led to the problem?

Possible answers:
I was on my way home from school.
My mother asked me to go to the supermarket to help her buy a loaf of bread
​.

The Problem

  • What was the problem?

I saw an elderly trying to walk with her walking stick and struggling with a huge bag of groceries at the same time.
The elderly fell and her groceries were strewn all over the floor.

  • How did the elderly feel?

She was frustrated and helpless.
She was in pain.

The Solution (or resolution)

  • How was the problem solved?

​I walked up to the elderly to help her to stand up.
I helped to pick up her groceries.

I helped her to carry her groceries home.

  • How did the elderly feel?
  • How did you feel?

The elderly was relieved and thankful.
I felt good to have done a kind deed.

Once again, from the plan, you can start writing a detailed and well-developed BODY of the composition by describing what happened to the characters and their responses (ACTIONS and FEELINGS). Include some dialogue to make your story more interesting.

Planning Makes a Huge Difference to your Writing!

Once you break up the body of a composition into these 3 smaller parts – Events leading to the Problem, the Problem and the Solution – it becomes easier to come up with the relevant content for each part.

Doing this will also ensure that you do not write out of point, especially for the new PSLE composition format.

Try it and let me know how it goes!

Author: BIG IDEAZ

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