Saturday, 21 February 2015

Writing Stories

So much to share and so little time to blog :) Thank God for this CNY break I can sit down and blog. One way to instill thinking skills in writing is not to be so tied with conventional writing practices. What I mean by this is for teachers not to be too preoccupied by the end product (a letter, a report etc.). What we want to do is to improve sentence building, coherence and infuse thinking skills at the same time. Here's a lesson I carried out with 4 Khawarizmi recently.

Time: Double-period
Topic: Paragraph-writing
Materials: marker pens, mah jong papers, masking tape


1. Get SS to fill up the whiteboard with verbs that they are familiar with in any form (e.g. walking, read, driven, started) withing 2 minutes.

2. Put SS in groups of 4 and get leaders to get a mah jong paper and some marker pens.
3. Tell groups to select 6-8 verbs and start building a story from those verbs (higher-order thinking skills) in two paragraphs/150 words
4. They can change the form of the verb (from experience it is rather difficult for SS to use the verbs in the same exact form although that would be more challenging)
5. SS present their stories to their classmates.
6. Teacher and SS correct language errors together.
7. SS copy paragraphs in exercise book.

 * SS tried their best to write an interesting story in two paragraphs. Language mistakes? Plenty but everyone learns through mistakes. Besides if they don't make mistakes, then I don't have a job!

Happy teaching!

my say...


Those who can Do Those who can do more TEACH


  1. I will do it with my students, but I have a problem recently, my Ketua bidang insists that we use the text books. At one time I was bombarded for photocopying an extract from a novel and asking my students to learn the idioms in it.

  2. Hi I'm sorry I find it strange that your KB insisted that. I consider myself lucky because I've never had anyone (seriously) for the past 28 years who dictated what I do in the classroom. I'm glad for the opportunity to explore and make mistakes. Let not your creativity be stifled. The shared lesson actually encourages HOTS and language development. I shudder to think what will happen if you try to carry out the same lesson in class but don't be discouraged. Explore!

  3. Done this before but i ask ss to use nouns instead...

    1. That's wonderful! I must try that too in my class. Thanks for sharing :)

  4. hello madam rahmah. i would like to ask you a question. I am a new teacher and still struggling to think of what and how to teach. i am not sure of i should use content that should focus on the exam (reading texts, writing according to the format, etc) or i can utilize any content that can make my lesson fun and engaging but at the same time can build the skills for them to improve their language. Of course, i prefer the latter but i am worried if my kids are not able to see the point in the activities when they are having too much fun.
    Also, must i make sure i finish teaching according to the themes and topics in the textbook?

    thanks in advance :)

    1. dear anonymous,
      thanks for your interest. i would go for a balance really and i believe that variety is the spice of life! sometimes i get bored with my own teaching if am doing the same things every week. plan you lessons for the whole week so you have a better perspective on when to do exam materials and when you want to just let the students hair fall and learn at the same time. i guess this is why teaching is an art. best!


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