With the help of Best Model Compositions, Teach 'Writing Narrative Compositions/Essays' in Form Three - Part One: Writing About Past Events


Review: Previously in Unit 9:2, we discussed about how to teach the sub topic ‘Talking about shopping’ in Form Two. In these sub topics, students were introduced to the various expressions to use when talking about shopping. Students were introduced to the proper language to use when they go shopping.

In this Unit 9:3, we will learn how to teach the sub topic, Writing narrative compositions/essays’ in Form Three. In this sub topic, Form Three students will be guided to use appropriate techniques and skills in writing narrative compositions/essays.


(Also: For Literature in English Subject, Check out my Literature in English Blog. Also check out My Diary for Diary Writing Inspiration and More! )
                                                                    
THE FOLLOWING IS THE COMPREHENSIVE TEACHING GUIDE ON THE SUB TOPIC:

A: INFORMATION OF THE TOPIC:
1. Topic: WRITING USING APPROPRIATE LANGUAGE CONTENT AND STYLE
2. Sub Topic: Writing narrative compositions/essays
3. Periods per sub topic: 12
4: Class: Form Three.
B: HOW TO TEACH THE TOPIC:

GENERAL INTRODUCTION
PART ONE: Writing About Past Events
The specific objective of this Part One of the Sub Topic is to able write an account of events that happened in the past. In this Part One, students will be able to write real events of their own or of the people they know in narrative way. Stages or procedures of writing a narrative composition or essay will be introduced to them for the easy narration of their own selected past events.

ACTIVITIES AND GAMES TO FACILITATE A LESSON

ACTIVITY 1: BRAINSTORMING OF THE SUB TOPIC AND STAGES OF NARRATIVE COMPOSITION
A teacher and students take a time to brainstorm and getting to know the meaning of the terms ‘narrative’, ‘narrator’, narration’, ‘story’ and other terms that are related for their full understanding of the sub topic and what they should do.
A narrative essay is a story written about a personal experience. Writing a narrative essay provides an opportunity for the students to get to know and understand themselves better.  While such awareness can occur for apparently unexplainable reasons, it most often happens when you encounter new ideas or have experiences that change you in some way. During the process of writing a narrative, students will learn ways to articulate personal experience in order to inform and entertain others. Narratives provide human interest, spark our curiosity, and draw us close to the storyteller.
Also students should take into considerations on the transitions words used in the narrative compositons

A teacher will use his model compositions or any narrative compositions to guide the students to brainstorm on how to organize ideas in an essay format.

GARDEN CHANGED MY LIFE
Our village, Karema, is a beautiful and blessed village. Everyone coming to our village says a lot of good things about it. I didn't realize how special my village is until I experienced something different.
First, our house is built beside the river. To my way of thinking, this river was a like a thing that was there to serve us with water in various daily purposes. I thought so many ways of making money after completing my 'O' Level Secondary Education, but I didn't consider the river beside our home as a source of income just like other sources of income. I believed that I get jobs in towns, and not in my own village. In other words, I did not believe that I can make my life better my living and working in my village.

However, when I met one of my friends, he gave me advice that I never thought about. He lived in town, and when he arrived at our home, he wondered;
"Why are you not working, Richard?"
"I want to go to town to see if I can get a job", I replied. Pascal laughed and said,
"If I were you, I could not think about going to town".
After that conversation, he advised and taught me how to successfully utilize that river beside our home. He helped to divert a small stream of river and direct it to the fenced garden near our home. When he went back to town, he ordered various seeds of vegetables, onions, cabbages, Chinese cabbages, and potatoes. I sowed them then I took care of them while ensuring enough water supply and application of manure and insect sides.

Soon, I started earning money from my garden. Many people in my village came to buy and some traders bought and sold them in village's market. I became famous. My life was improved. I started enlarging my project. Also, I started other projects by investing in them. At the same time, I opened a Bank Account to save more money. I get going forward since then.

Generally speaking, our local environments are very promising when we effectively utilize them. As you can see, I never thought about the river. I never thought that the richness was there in the river looking upon me to decide to take.
It really seems to me that, we can use our experience we got in school and our local environments to improve our own lives. Essentially, towns are not only places to get jobs and better living is not only brought by working in the public offices. This is how my garden changed my life.

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COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS
(1)   Who is the narrator of this story?
(2)   What is the education level of the narrator?
(3)   According to Richard, people should not go to towns to seek for jobs. Why does he say that?
(4)   In your own words, mention other five activities you can do in the village in order to earn a living.
(5)   With your friends, discuss how you can start your own projects at your village.


The model narrative composition the past event will serve as the guide to students as they brainstorm on how to organise ideas in narrative essay format. The following are the stages required when organising a narrative essay or composition:

Stages of Writing:
Pre-Writing
It involves collecting all necessary information and details about the topic or question.

Drafting
Here students think of the method of their works. They may choose chronological order or in order of preference or importance.
Structure your essay in terms of introduction, main body, and conclusion.

Revising & Editing.
Read your work again. Check its accuracy, grammar, and punctuations or read it your friend or in pairs or groups.

Rewriting the Final Draft.
Here is the stage where the student writes his/her final work after going through all the stages above. After this stage, a student submits his/her work to the required place.

Features of Narrative composition/Essay
What is common for most narrative essays is that they describe specific experiences that changed how you felt, thought, or acted.  The format of a narrative composition is similar to a story in that it describes how your character is feeling by "showing" through his/her actions, rather than by coming right out and "telling" your readers.
A good narrative composition does not only entertains, but also it has a point to make, that is, it has a purpose to convey. 

Narrative essay or composition has the following features that should be observed when writing this particular kind of essay. If you are writing a narrative essay keep in mind of the following things:
  • Choose an interesting incident or event to tell your readers.
  • Arrange your events in sequence.
  • Include details of people, places and events by using five human senses.
  • Present conflicts or important messages in your narrative essay.
  • Connect the past events with the people, places and events of the present.
  • Choose appropriate point of view for your narration.

ACTIVITY 2: SELECTING A TOPIC AND WRITING THE FIRST DRAFT
At this point, the teacher may guide his or her students to select topics to write what happened in the past. These topics should at least include common aspects of life such as conflict resolution, ways of creating wealth like small businesses and ways of fighting corruption.
After guiding students to the selection of topics, then the teacher guides them to write the first draft in pairs/groups. When they are writing, they should consider the stages of writing a narrative composition, although they apply to other kinds of writing as well. The teacher should walk around to help students write or jot things down for their narrative essay.
How to Plan the Narrative Essay
As teacher, guide students to plan a narrative composition. Discuss with them that they should plan their narrative essay as follows:
(1)   First, they should select an incident that is important to about,
(2)   Second, they should find relevant details about the incident they want to write about.
(3)   Finally, they should find our more details which will make the incident real for readers.
In finding relevant materials for their narrative essays, students can use model compositions, dictionaries, encyclopedias, internet, and newspapers.
After selecting and planning, the students now write their first draft of the narrative composition/essay. This is real writing they do before finishing and going to another stage.

ACTIVITY 3: REVISING AND EDITING THE FIRST DRAFT.
This is the revising stage in which students revise and edit their works focusing on the content of the topic. They read their works once again to check if it is fine. If they are in groups, one student can read and others can listen to it and correct what see unfit for their work. At this stage, they remove some parts of the composition, they correct grammatical errors, they put right some confusing mechanical errors (punctuation), and they work on anything they can do in order to make their work look good before they submit it.
As they revise and edit, the teacher to move from group to group encouraging interaction among the students as they edit their work.

After revising and editing their works, students can submit their works to the teacher.

Lastly after marking students’ works, the teacher displays the best works for others to visit and read.

GRAMMAR PRACTICE: The Form and Function of the Sub Topic: Transition words. These are linking words, phrases, and expressions that are used to connect the sentences so as to have a meaningful and cohesive paragraphs and ideas. Some of these transitions are conjunctions, adverbs, and prepositions. There are various transitions which are applied in various stages of various kinds of writing. The following are some of the transition words that are applied in writing and some of them have been featured in the model compositions above and students are encouraged to apply them as well:

Transitions for stating or introducing an opinion: These are those words that are used to introduce a topic or to start a conversation of a discussion.
According to me; to me; to my way of thinking; in my opinion; in my view; from my point of view; it seems to me that; from my perspective; I think; I believe; I feel (that); I suppose; I understand.

Transitions for Giving Examples: These are the transition words that are used when the speaker or the writer is giving examples on something.
For instance; in other words; namely; for example; such as; that is; like.

Comparing transitions: These are words that are used to compare two or more ideas.
As….as; also; in the same way; at the same time; similar to; in common; either…or; neither…. nor; just as; resemble.

Contrasting transitions: These are the words that are used to different two or more opposing ideas or points.
But; on the other hand; though; instead; however; although; otherwise; even though; alternatively; on the contrary; nevertheless.

Generalising transitions: These are the linking words that indicate that a speaker or the writer is summing up r winding up his or her conversation, speech, essay, or a discussion.
Generally speaking; as a rule; for the most part; on the whole; generally; in general; overall; essentially; basically;

There might be other transitions words, phrases and expressions that deal with how people agree, disagree, suggest, interrupt, and add on the conversation or discussions, but these are just some of the useful transition words for writing narrative compositions and essays.
Note: In the model narrative composition above, italicised words, phrases and expressions are transitions.

6. CONNECTION: Beyond the Sub Topic: In addition, narratives can do the following:
Create a sense of shared history, linking people together.
Narrative composition provides entertainment.
They provide psychological healing. Reading or listening to the narrative of someone who faced a life crisis similar to one the reader is experiencing can help him/her through the crisis.
They can also help the writer or anyone who wants to be the writer.
Provide insight. Narratives can help students discover values, explore options, and examine motives.

7. NOTE: Writing the Narrative Composition/Essay needs an effective and working plan. If it is not planned, a narrative composition produces misunderstanding to the readers. Here are a few things to remember when writing a narrative essay:

(a)   Narratives are generally written in the first person, that is, using I. However, third person (heshe, or it) can also be used.
(b)   Narratives rely on concrete, sensory details to convey their point. These details should create a unified, forceful effect, a dominant impression.
(c)    Narratives, as stories, should include these story conventions: a plot, including setting and characters; a climax; and an ending.
Narrative composition/essay also lays a foundation to the students who can later pursue writing as their careers. A student who aspires to be a writer, this topic is the beginning. It may not provide everything necessary for the students, but for this stage, it the good beginning point.

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Check out how to Study & Teach other Form Three Sub Topics in this Blog!

Related Topics:

Also check out:
Form I Sub topics, at FORM I SYLLABUS TOPICS REVIEW
Form II Sub topics, at FORM II SYLLABUS TOPICS REVIEW
Form IV Sub topics, at FORM IV SYLLABUS TOPICS REVIEW  

For more on Literature Topics, check out Literature in English Blog
For how to be professional keeper of your Diary in Kiswahili or English, check out My Diary

For Form IV NECTA Examination Sections, check out ELABORATED CSEE NECTA EXAMINATION SECTIONS



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