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All About English Creative Writing

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Postby autumnbronze » Fri May 14, 2010 2:06 am

buds wrote:
Michteach wrote:For primary 1 kids, there are books like Usbourne young readers that I find quite good and I got them quite cheap at the mph sale:)


I second this recommendation! :celebrate:
Usborne books are good continuations from the simple K2 reads and
can help children move on to chapter books nicely. I have a variety of
Usborne books at home too! Worth the buy definitely.. :D


Yup, second that ... about Usborne readers :celebrate:

Just bought The Ulysses Level 2 reader and I read the whole book to my DS in 2 sittings. He was quite captivated by the story :D
Last edited by autumnbronze on Fri May 14, 2010 7:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Blobbi » Fri May 14, 2010 8:45 am

Michteach wrote:I found using phrases from storybooks very effective as I am feeding the kids continuously with good vocab and effective writing styles from a wide range of authors.

I could let you know what books are especially good for this if you are interested


Hi Michteach,

I'm rather confused about what makes good writing for top marks. Being of the old school, I just read my way to good marks in English. Compositions were done via osmosis, ie, I subconsciously absorbed whatever I read and probably reproduced snippets in my writing. So it was always extremely enjoyable - no need to study or work at it at all. I actually don't remember having to consciously learn what past perfect participles are :shock: (alright, I made the name up; something like that), but it wasn't a problem during exams either.

These days though, I'm stunned that there is such a thing as creative writing classes where kids copy "model compositions" and memorise key phrases.

Is it really necessary? My kid is only in P1, but going through kiasuparents, I'm getting a bit worried that I'm out of touch. :roll:

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Postby The Alternative Story » Fri May 14, 2010 11:00 am

Michteach wrote:Hi Pokemon,

No prob, btw I MUST tell you about something I just found: the education company that used to come to my school to sell books has now set up a Twitter account and they post phrases from storybooks and also interesting ways to help your child learn vocabulary, spelling, creative writing, science etc...it is so good, now I use what they post to teach my kids and my students love it! Very easy to follow..am so excited, I must tell everyone about it! :D

You can follow them after you have your own twitter account, the company name is The Alternative Story or you can follow them with their twitter name it is - TAlternativeS, if you have any probs, just pm me..I see if I can help with more detailed instructions..happy twitting!


Hi Michteach,

Thanks for the recommendation, we find using Twitter the best way to provide tips for parents and children to help them do well for English. In this way, the children can learn everyday from us and not just when they come for classes.

TAS

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Postby The Alternative Story » Fri May 14, 2010 11:09 am

buds wrote:Following someone on twitter is like leaving short quickie messages
almost like a live chat though most times not everyone, all at the
same time..

In KiasuParents we sorta have it too. :D ChiefKiasu has put up the
Recent Activity column feature where forummers can be updated
with short one liner updates from everyone and anyone, for eg.
from kudos for our portal articles, to latest comments on on our
articles, to simple quotes for the day if you wish..

We've had old timers kid around about the joke of the day..
Or ask if anyone has watched a certain movie and a handful of
our forummers also simply update their status as : ..... just married
today!

Latest for today looks like this..

Recent activity

•Jaslyn commented on Clementi
saying Primary School around
Clementi...

•rainbows commented on The Days
I Made My Mother Cry saying Thanks
Chief for sharing...

•concern2 gave Kudos! to sunflower
for Some thoughts about Chinese/Mother
Tongue and Educational Systems

•concern2 commented on Some thoughts
about Chinese/Mother Tongue and Educational
Systems saying I like your article...

•BigDevil gave Kudos! to ChiefKiasu for The
Days I Made My Mother Cry.

Btw, TAS ie. The Alternative Story is also a
registered forummer here in KiasuParents. :wink:
Mebbe if anyone has special questions for TAS, u
may alternatively send a PM to TAS. :celebrate:

TAS shared with us with some great book
recommendations in another thread. :love:

They offer occasional parents' workshops as well if
i recall correctly, for parents who mebbe interested
to know the basics of creative writing skills.

Just sharing. :wink:


Hi buds,

Thanks for the detailed information on Twitter and talking about us:). At this rate, even if you are not at TAS, you can enjoy our privileged card membership haha.

We love using Twitter at TAS. You can get further book recommendations on our Twitter account too and we will also update the KSP when we do have fantastic book recommendations.

For parents' workshops, we are having one this holidays- Every Child Can Write. (To teach parents creative writing strategies and showing parents how even movies can be used to teach plot development)

The workshop will be on 29 May and 5 June. Those who sign up in a group of 4 get 50% discount. If you are interested, you can email us or pm us. :)

TAS

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Postby The Alternative Story » Fri May 14, 2010 11:20 am

Blobbi wrote:
Michteach wrote:I found using phrases from storybooks very effective as I am feeding the kids continuously with good vocab and effective writing styles from a wide range of authors.

I could let you know what books are especially good for this if you are interested


Hi Michteach,

I'm rather confused about what makes good writing for top marks. Being of the old school, I just read my way to good marks in English. Compositions were done via osmosis, ie, I subconsciously absorbed whatever I read and probably reproduced snippets in my writing. So it was always extremely enjoyable - no need to study or work at it at all. I actually don't remember having to consciously learn what past perfect participles are :shock: (alright, I made the name up; something like that), but it wasn't a problem during exams either.

These days though, I'm stunned that there is such a thing as creative writing classes where kids copy "model compositions" and memorise key phrases.

Is it really necessary? My kid is only in P1, but going through kiasuparents, I'm getting a bit worried that I'm out of touch. :roll:


Hi Blobbi,

Maybe we can give some insight into this? For some of us, writing comes naturally because we have like what you say subconsciously absorbed whatever we have read. In that case, then creative writing strategies acts like a highlighter to bring to attention the writing strategies that the author uses. Thus, the child will put in more effort to use those strategies and he will be able to do it within a few lessons as he has already been absorbing them subconsciously. You are right in saying that such a child will not need a lot of creative writing lessons. He can just pick up after a few lessons and be able to take off from there on his own.

For those who do not read or who read but cannot translate that to good writing, then they would need to a lot of input from creative writing classes.

But Creative Writing is not memorizing phrases and just fitting them into compositions. It is learning the techniques behind good writing and applying them to writing.

For your child, if he or she is in primary 1 and is a reader and has no problem in his or her grammar and knows a wide range of vocabulary for his/her level, then you do not have to worry. Your child most probably would not need these classes now.:)

TAS

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Postby Blobbi » Fri May 14, 2010 7:40 pm

The Alternative Story wrote:For your child, if he or she is in primary 1 and is a reader and has no problem in his or her grammar and knows a wide range of vocabulary for his/her level, then you do not have to worry. Your child most probably would not need these classes now.:)

TAS


Tks TAS. I started thinking about writing classes because my son is a very reluctant writer. When he does write, it's quite good (to me :lol:). But he absolutely hates the physical act of writing. Anyway, one thing led to another, I started to consider other reasons for writing classes ... Still mulling, since he's a lot more amenable when someone else does the asking. :P

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Postby Guest » Fri May 14, 2010 7:49 pm

Blobbi wrote:Compositions were done via osmosis



Yeah Blobbi, during our time I feel that both languages were produced via osmosis for exams. Times have changed dramatically because in the past acers were only a handfull.....now they are rampant.... Just RI(JC) alone, they have produced more than twice the number of straight "A"s now than during our time.

So the exam-smart kids are everywhere now with affluence for tuitions and enrichments.
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Postby Guest » Fri May 14, 2010 7:55 pm

Blobbi wrote:
The Alternative Story wrote:For your child, if he or she is in primary 1 and is a reader and has no problem in his or her grammar and knows a wide range of vocabulary for his/her level, then you do not have to worry. Your child most probably would not need these classes now.:)

TAS


Tks TAS. I started thinking about writing classes because my son is a very reluctant writer. When he does write, it's quite good (to me :lol:). But he absolutely hates the physical act of writing. Anyway, one thing led to another, I started to consider other reasons for writing classes ... Still mulling, since he's a lot more amenable when someone else does the asking. :P


If it is physical writing, then I suggest you send him for art class or calligraphy instead.

My child is also a reluctant writer....no problem, just plain lazy..any course to stop laziness? :lol:
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Postby mrswongtuition » Fri May 14, 2010 8:56 pm

Blobbi wrote:
Michteach wrote:I found using phrases from storybooks very effective as I am feeding the kids continuously with good vocab and effective writing styles from a wide range of authors.

I could let you know what books are especially good for this if you are interested


Hi Michteach,

I'm rather confused about what makes good writing for top marks. Being of the old school, I just read my way to good marks in English. Compositions were done via osmosis, ie, I subconsciously absorbed whatever I read and probably reproduced snippets in my writing. So it was always extremely enjoyable - no need to study or work at it at all. I actually don't remember having to consciously learn what past perfect participles are :shock: (alright, I made the name up; something like that), but it wasn't a problem during exams either.

These days though, I'm stunned that there is such a thing as creative writing classes where kids copy "model compositions" and memorise key phrases.

Is it really necessary? My kid is only in P1, but going through kiasuparents, I'm getting a bit worried that I'm out of touch. :roll:


I also believe that good writing stems from vivid reading.

Problem: Many parents do not think so and feel that it's a waste of time to read a storybook that is not related to their exam syllabus (or rather, MOE's syllabus).

And I hope to correct you: Creative Writing classes are not all about copying model compositions. :D

I've never asked my students to copy model compositions. In fact, we do read them together in class and highlight the good phrases/words to use, but never copy the entire composition - word for word.

Teaching creative writing now is really different. In the young minds now, they learn differently from us. During our time, I remember my school teacher forcing us to copy down the model compositions from the OHP. Now, you need to teach them the skills to form their own phrases and descriptions. You need to draw out their imagination!

How do I encourage students to read?
I go book-hunting and purchase many books to place in my study.
It's a mixture of fiction & non-fiction with a range of difficulty levels to suit my students.
I encourage them to borrow a book a week and also speak to parents about the importance of reading books for leisure (and of course, they learn subconsciously).
I also have many different magazines with cool pictures to attract the unwilling readers.
I allow them to choose their books though sometimes I make recommendations to ensure that they are reading appropriately for their level.

Creative writing not only involves forming proper sentences that make sense. It's about putting sentences together to form paragraphs, putting ideas together to form a plot, putting actions/speech into words, and most importantly - putting the readers on the edge of their seats.

You can view my website (http://mrswongtuition.blogspot.com) to look at the books I've purchased for my students. I've spent at least $2000++ to build up my library of books and I'm still expanding it when I come across more books during my shopping trips.

Once they love writing and start writing frequently, you'll see the improvements. Journals are a fantastic start to writing frequently. You can try getting 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' for your child to start off reading (easy to read and interesting) and they have a 'Do-It-Yourself' version where kids are encouraged to write their own stories!

You need not read/mark their journal, it's just an outlet for them to express their feelings and thought in words. Give them a weekly them if they say that they can't think of what to write. I printed pictures and encouraged parents to pass me pictures as themes. E.g. A trip to the zoo with your family can be a theme!

Don't feel discouraged about the numerous creative writing classes that are popping up. There are good ones out there which allow busy parents to 'outsource' this aspect of developing a love for English.
If you feel that you can help your child make a difference without these classes, it'll be great.
However, if you feel that you need to outsource this job due to whatever reasons, you need not feel bad. Just look carefully for the right tutor/centre for you child. :)

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Postby mrswongtuition » Fri May 14, 2010 9:00 pm

The Alternative Story wrote:But Creative Writing is not memorizing phrases and just fitting them into compositions. It is learning the techniques behind good writing and applying them to writing.


I agree. It's not about forcing them to memorise long lists of phrases.

They need to know the structure, tenses used, appropriate punctuation, how to develop a plot, describing characters, adding atmostphere, etc etc.

It's really fun to teach them and watch them develop their own plots. Some of them will be 'lazy' during the planning phase of writing and in a group setting, they will slowly learn that good planning will lead to a good composition.

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