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Teaching Writing – take advantage of celebrations

There is a place for drills in learning English. In writing, there is a place for imaginative or creative writing. On top of that, there is also writing with relevance. As students grow older, and the syllabus demands they write factual compositions, they tend to fail quite miserably. This need not be so. From young, children can write short pieces.

Since this is the Father’s Day weekend, I took advantage of this and helped my young charge write a composition about his father. Being so young, he will not be able to do it without guidance. So I began by giving him a worksheet with questions.

My Father.

What is his name?

Where was he born?

Was he an only child/the only son/ the eldest son?

Where did he study?

What is his work?

What does he like to do?

Does your father love you? How do you know?

If you have the power and money, what would you give him this father’s day?

He had to write the answers in full. This way, he gets to practice spelling, sentence constructions and even comprehension. If there are answers he could not give, it serves as a good opportunity for him to talk to his dad later. The answers to the questions form a composition without much need for changes. This is what we came up with. Of course, I always insist of making the composition look pretty complete with pictures. This will help him later when he has to do project work.

This is the result

My Father

My father’s name is David Chan. He was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He is an only child.

When he was young, he studied in Malaysia. When he was older, he studied in England.

I am not sure what his work is. At night, I see him working on his computer.

My father likes to exercise. He loves me very much. Every night, he kisses me.

If I can, I want to give him my favourite car. It is big and has a television screen inside

I actually included a border – not sure how to insert a word doc here.

To finish it up, he made a Father’s Day card. It feels good to help the child remember his dad, while learning English at the same time.

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