Some of my Primary 5 students will be having their English assessments (CA1, Class assessment etc) in week 8 or 9 of Term 1. We have been focusing on the newer components of Primary 5 English that are more challenging than in Primary 4 English. One of those components is Comprehension Open-ended.

What are the differences between Primary 4 and Primary 5 English?

Length of passage

Passages are much longer, denser and more complicated in Primary 5. Most are factual recounts taken from books such as Chicken Soup for the Soul or non-fiction articles taken from magazines such as National Geographic. Students are required to read and understand each paragraph clearly in order to attempt the questions successfully.

Number of questions

There are now 10 questions instead of 5 questions. Answers may be in the form of short answers in a box provided or full answers. Many questions require two part answers to receive the total mark. Students will need to be careful and organised when searching for the correct responses. They will need to be able to identify key words in the questions to be able to respond accurately.

Question types

In Primary 4, students have already come across some of the question types that they will attempt in their Primary 5 comprehension OE, though the questions were more straightforward and simplified. Primary 5 students must be able to identify if a question type is inferential, cause and effect, evidence based, organisation of events etc to once again provide the accurate response.

How do we work on Comprehension OE at Thinking Factory?

Comprehension of passage

We make sure that our students understand their passages by either breaking down a more complicated passage by paragraphs or questioning each student orally on certain parts of the passage.

Identifying key words in the passage

We help students identify key words in the questions, especially for the evidence based questions.

Questions types

Knowing how to identify the questions types allows students to structure their answers accordingly.

Mastering such strategies requires time and practice. Comprehension OE is an important part of the second hour of our Primary 5 English classes. The goal for our Primary 5 students is that they gain independence and confidence in this component as they move on to their PSLE year.

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