The P4 students are at the halfway mark of their Term 1. While the jump from P3 to P4 isn’t as far a leap as from P4 to P5, they do face higher expectations in all areas of English Language, especially in the writing component.

The P4 year is the perfect time to ‘iron out’ grammatical mistakes and common spelling errors, and of course, develop a descriptive style of writing. It is also now that students begin to understand how theme development plays an important role in their compositions.

For all these reasons, the P4 students at Thinking Factory write weekly on different themes. With weekly writing and Paper 2 components in every lesson, our aim is for our P4 students to improve both their Language and Content in their compositions.

One of the best writing techniques that both P3 and P4 students can use in their compositions is the use of Descriptive Verbs. I find that our P5 and P6 students tend to use descriptive verbs more often and naturally in their compositions than P3 and P4 students. So, what are descriptive verbs and how can we help our children use them in their writing?

Descriptive Verbs

Descriptive verbs are single-word actions that make a sentence more interesting, colourful, and vivid. Examples of Descriptive verbs are ‘frolicked’ instead of ‘played’, ‘scurried down’ instead of ‘walk down’, and ‘nagged’ instead of ‘said’. These descriptive verbs bring to life a composition and help the reader ‘see’ the events in the story more clearly.

How to encourage the use of Descriptive Verbs in compositions

Students who read more widely tend to use descriptive verbs in their compositions more readily than students who don’t. Having a wider vocabulary allows students to recall verbs that they found interesting in the books they had previously read and use them in their own stories.

For those students who do not read widely enough, having a list of descriptive verbs to help them write each composition theme can be a good way to encourage them to build on their vocabulary. Preparing descriptive verbs for common themes can also be done at home.

By the end of the P4 year, our aim is for our students to be independent writers who use the techniques taught during our lessons in their compositions.

Below is one such example of one of our past P4 students. Her end-of-the-year composition was chosen by her English teacher as the class’ model composition!

With her permission, I am posting her school’s end-of-the-year composition below.

Her composition stands out in 2 ways:

Descriptive verbs: her composition is a good example of how descriptive verbs can take your writing to another level.

Describing the theme: she has taken the time to develop the theme by describing a stormy day in detail in the 2nd paragraph. Her teacher also commented positively on the way she had developed her characters and their feelings.

So, have a read and take note of the vivid verbs and descriptions that she used in her composition.

P4 model composition on the theme of a stormy day

Note to students

The model compositions in this blog are to help students generate ideas and to be used as a guide. Students are not allowed to copy the model compositions and then pass them off as their own work, especially in school. It is called plagiarism.

Write a story about a stormy day. Pictures – a closed drain pipe, two children playing tag on a wet ground, cars

“Remember to bring your umbrella!” my mother nagged at me before I left the house.

“Too late,” I thought as I rolled my eyes and slammed the door behind me.

I set off to school. After what seemed like an eternity, school was finally over. As the dismissal bell rang, I darted out of my seat and carried my bag. Then, I queued outside the classroom.

              All the students scurried down the stairs. Just as I stepped out of school, thunder rumbled in the air as white streaks of lightning formed in the dark, grey sky. Big, fat drops of rain fell from the dark, ominous clouds as gusts of wind blew around. The rain started off as a drizzle but gradually became a downpour. My friends had all left the school by asking their parents to pick them up. Only then did I regret not heeding my mother’s advice to bring an umbrella. I broke into a brisk walk as I made my way home, using my bag as a shelter for myself. My house was still quite a distance away.

              I was afraid that I could catch a cold. When I reached a traffic junction, the green man was flickering. Looking around, I saw that there were no other cars. I decided to cross the road although the red man had lit up. I ran across the road and suddenly I saw a bright red Toyota speeding towards me. Terror gripped me and perspiration started dripping from my forehead. I was powerless and frantic with terror. Then ‘Bang’ the car hit me. The impact was so great that I was flung a few metres away from my original place. I landed on the ground with a heavy thud.

              I saw passers-by rushing over to me. One of them called the ambulance while the rest attended to me. Within minutes the ambulance arrived and the paramedics laid me on a stretcher. At that moment, I lost consciousness. When I woke up, I found myself in the hospital lying on a bed. My eyes met my parents’ eyes and I was confused.

I asked my father, “What happened to me? Why am I in the hospital?”

My father told me what had happened. My face was red with embarrassment as he told me that the paramedics explained that I had dashed across the road. I regretted my actions as I had broken my leg.

              That night, as I lay in the hospital bed, I reflected on the stormy day’s events. I regretted not listening to my mother and dashing across the road. I promised myself to turn over a new leaf and never make the same mistake again.

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2024 P4 English Tuition Timetable

BranchDayTime
Bukit TimahWED3 pm to 5 pm
Bukit TimahTUE (Starting Term 3)3 pm to 5 pm
Bukit TimahSAT9 am to 11 am
HougangTUE3.30 pm to 5.30 pm
HougangSAT3.30 pm to 5.30 pm