Common PSLE Composition Topics – Best Ideas How to Handle Them from Writing Samurai
Here are some PSLE composition topics and some ideas on how you can handle them. ( Based on the New Singapore Primary School English Syllabus!)
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New Syllabus PSLE Composition Topics – What to take note of
For the new syllabus, your child is given 3 pictures for his compo. He can choose to write using all 3 pictures, or only using one of the pictures. However, your child’s story must still be related to the given theme or topic.
The new English composition syllabus exposes the student to many positive themes. The themes associated with the older syllabus tend to be more negative. (That’s not to say the old topics won’t come out again!)
Please keep in mind: Even though the new themes are positive, your story must still contain a Problem or a Conflict. This is essential as stories without a Problem or a Conflict may end up becoming very dull. ( The basics of composition writing are covered in >>> How to Write a Composition)
Mistakes made by Some of my Students (Theme-related)
- For the theme of “Friendship”, a student wrote one entire composition describing his friend. His friend was tall. His friend was fat. His friend was handsome. Nothing wrong with that…except that my student is in P6. His composition sounded like a P1-P2 compo…
- For the theme of “A Dilemma”, a student wrote an entire composition about her friend cheating during the exam. She did not focus on the dilemma at hand – Should the main character help her friend cheat? Instead, the main character immediately told the teacher that her friend was cheating in the exam. There was no dilemma faced by any of the characters at all!
- For the theme of “A Surprise“, a student wrote an entire composition talking about how his friends threw him a surprise party. He ate cake. They played games. And he received lots of presents. Nothing wrong with that except – ALL the other students taking the exams wrote the same thing! There was also no conflict or problem to overcome. Hence, the story was extremely boring. Needless to say, most of the students didn’t score well.
How to Brainstorm for Ideas
Students have difficulty brainstorming for ideas related to positive theme.
“What bad things can I write about a Friendship or a Surprise?” they would ask.
Plenty! I would reply. For every positive theme you encounter, just think of words that are completely opposite to the theme! Then from there, think about what problems may arise that your characters can try to overcome in your story. (Check out the table below.)
PROBLEM / CONFLICT
|Friendship||Enemies, Quarrel, Misunderstanding||2 good friends quarrel. Can they clear their misunderstanding and become friends again?|
|Honesty||Dishonesty, Lies, Cheating||John saw his friend engaging in a dishonest or illegal act. Should he be honest and reveal the truth?|
|Inspiration||Uninspired. Having Low morale. Disappointment||Kelly joined an art competition. Nobody believed that she would win. She found inspiration and created a winning artwork|
|A Surprise||No Surprise…||Tom thought nobody remembered his birthday. Goes through an entire day feeling sad. Ending: His friends gave him a surprise.|
|Moral Dilemma/A Dilemma||Cheating, Petty theft, Mischief||Greg faces a moral dilemma on whether to reveal that his brother had stolen somebody’s iPhones…|
|Challenges||Struggles with Sports, Competition, CCA||Sharon tries to overcome her fear of water by taking part in a swimming contest.|
Other themes to take note of:
Here are some of the older topics that used to appear frequently for exams.
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|An Embarrassing Experience||Stage fright. Minor accident in a public place|
|A Frightening Experience||Crime. Disaster. Major Accident. Injury.|
|Heroic Acts||Overcoming fear to save somebody in danger|
|Acts of Mischief||Pranks. Bullying. Fights. Quarrels.|
A Reminder about Common PSLE Composition Topics
The purpose of this page is to provide a reference on the common composition topics that are tested. However, be prepared for ‘curve balls’ to be thrown at you during PSLE. Meaning, you might receive a theme that has never been tested or prepared by your school at all. MOE is trying to move away from rote learning and focus more on CREATIVITY.
What you should do, instead of memorising these themes, is to use the framework for brainstorming that I have highlighted above. Go through the mental process and try it out on a variety of essay topics!
(You might also want to avoid making these >>> 9 common mistakes in PSLE composition writing.)
Hope this post has been useful for you! Good luck in your studies!
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This page will be updated with more new composition themes as time goes on. In the meantime, you might want to practise your compo writing skills on our free test papers. You can download them on this page >>> https://writingsamurai.com/free-test-papers-english-compositions/
Let your child learn how to tackle difficult themes by studying these Model Composition examples in this Ebook:
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