GVI are hoping that by devoting one double lesson a week to Composition Writing, we can help improve the students overall English mark.
The composition exam gives you a topic to write about or a sentence you must finish or end your story with. For example: write about “An Accident.” Most students, if not all, begin by defining the word and then repeating the definition or giving examples rather than a fully thought out story with an intro-body-conclusion. If we teach our students how to develop their ideas and plan out their story with a consistent approach through all standards, our students have a better chance of getting those much needed marks.
We’re in the works of developing a standardised, organised approach to composition writing that has students developing the skills of writing in creative, kin-aesthetic and engaging ways. If we have a framework for the children to follow that is consistent from volunteer to volunteer.
This is why we’ve begun changing our programs to better suit our student’s needs and the expectations the exams have of them. I lead workshops introducing what One to One’s, Group Reading, and Composition writing are meant for with lesson ideas and activities to support those programs.
Lee, Chloe and Emma took on the composition class as a way to introduce the process of creating a story and developing an idea. They started off reminding the class of their previous topic: ‘to remember.’ Then, shifted into brainstorming about ‘memory,’ The students were asked to think of the Who’s, What’s, Where’s and When’s with the memories we might have.
After this, they broke the class into three groups to create a collabourative story using the activity, ‘Pass the Paper.’ With this activity the students are numbered 1-4 and each student is responsible for answering the question given by the teacher about the story. For example student number one is asked ‘Who is in your story?’ Then student number two is asked ‘Where does the story take place?’ And it goes on. Each student gets to contribute to the story until its end! Those students struggling for ideas were supported by the previous brainstorm about a ‘memory’ that was on the board and in their books; while those who feel courageous and confident could put their own creative spin to it without help. The children were so excited to see where the story was going every time the paper was passed to them. When Mister Lee read out his group’s story with character voices and big, dramatic gestures – the kids couldn’t keep their eyes off of him and were so proud of their story.
After this, Mister Lee was able to link their story to the brainstorm framework about ‘memory.’ They were asked to fill out the mind map based on the story they created. After that, he explained to the students how this process will help them in their future writing. My jaw dropped. Here we have a volunteer, day three on the project already encouraging the thought process I introduced not 24 hours before. I am so incredibly excited to see how much of a difference this approach to Composition and Literacy will make with volunteers like this really trying to reach those goals too. I am excited about our new programs and the work our new volunteers are putting in to help make them better and reach as many of our students as possible. Thank you!
By Monika Stahlstorm – Education Officer
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