Sunday, 1 July 2012

Using the right tense in writing a story (4 Syafie)

It's been four days in a row that I have reached home at 6.00 p.m.  I can't help but ask does that make me a better teacher. I had to call the massage lady last night owing to a stiff neck...seriously, we need to relook what we are doing in school.  At the rate we're going, perhaps we should award a medal to the teacher who leaves school the latest! And oh! Not to mention the recent LDP we had...I was so angry about it all- being told at the last minute that the LDP committee was supposed to handle that! And not knowing it was some cookware they were promoting!!! How could we allow such an in-house? Business strategies are getting shrewder by the day!

I've not been able to post lately due to school work. Well, here's a lesson plan conducted recently in 4 Sayfie. Based on the mid-year exam, I found that most students were making plenty of tense errors even when writing stories. Some wrote as if they had not learned English grammar before... I decided to rectify this through a writing activity that went this way...

Activity: Using the right tense in a story
Materials: Select an introduction to a horror story (any suitable story will do), mahjong, marker pens,
                masking tape.
Steps: 1. Put students in groups and give them an introduction to an incomplete story (I used a horror story).
          2. SS discuss how to continue the story in about two paragraphs. (Allow more paragraphs if your SS
              are capable)
          3. Pay atttention to the past tense by giving sample sentences on the board.
          4. SS write continuation on mahjong paper and share the story in class.
          5. T edits the mistakes on the mahjong paper.
          6. Get individual students to copy the story.

Some problems faced:
1. SS handwriting on mahjong was a bit small for the those at the back to see.
2. Getting some SS focussed! (the restless ones if you catch my drift)

**Some hilarious and really gory versions were presented by students and I enjoyed listening to them. I will get some and post the stories here later.

What 4 Syafie did..

I certainly hope all that discussion, writing and presentation helped them understand why we need to use the past tense when writing narratives (stories). I surely didn't want to waste a lot of class time in discussion activities if they're not beneficial.

The Thinking Teacher

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