Saturday, February 26, 2011

Writing: Creative Narrative Text Idea

Dear Readers,

Looking for a simple but fun creative narrative idea?

Below is a tried and tested idea from RELC Singapore that we can use immediately in our classroom especially for primary level students.

This fun activity helps develop pre and post modifiers, adverbials, noun phrases, expanding ideas and lexical density, and to practice grammar!

Have fun and do report your experience!

Rodney Tan
Writing Idea (RELC)

Once upon a time there was a witch. She was actually a very good-hearted witch but she often got her spells wrong.

One day when she was trying to cure her cat of a cold, she accidentally said a spell that made the cat’s lovely straight tail turn crooked!

The poor cat was not very happy.

The harder the witch tried to undo the spell, the more she mixed things up. Soon the cat was also barking like a dog!

Finally in desperation she resolved never to say another spell again – and presto! The cat’s tail became straight and she regained her meow.

These are the steps:

1. Students underline all the nouns in the text.

2. Students develop all the nouns by adding pre and post modifiers to the nouns.

3. Students then add all kinds of adverbials (circumstances) relevant to the newly modified text.

4. Students compare the modified texts.

This is to demonstrate that the ability to create noun phrases will improve their writing significantly not only in terms of quality but also in terms of quality. The modified text can double the word count. The additional circumstances also help to expand the ideational meanings in the texts.

Working in groups, many teachers (at RELC) ended up recreating very amusing, hilarious texts, especially Singapore primary teachers. I found this a fun way to teach lexical density in narrative texts and to help students to write more words by exercising grammar.

DR. Helena I. R. Agustien
Language Specialist
Training, Research, Assessment and Consultancy Department
SEAMEO Regional Language Centre
30 Orange Grove Road
Singapore 258352
TEL No: 65-68857888
DID No: 65-68857842


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