Hopefully our earlier discussions have not confused you. Let’s recap the past tense and how to use it.
Grammar – Past Tense Recap
Download the cheat sheet below. This will help you to refresh your child’s grammar rules.
Download: Grammar - Past Tense Recap
Basically, there are three types of past tense – the simple past, past continuous and past perfect. Read through the download and you can use it to refresh your child’s memory. In our experience, children who have reached Primary Six already know the rules. But many of them do not apply them either because they forgot to use it or are unable to apply them effectively. So it is important that you keep reminding them to use it in the essays.
Review this with your child and we will discuss methods of helping them practise their past tense after first talking about creating varied sentences. This will allow for both components to be practised together more effectively.
Creating Compound and Complex Sentences
For creating sentences, we have included a downloadable cheat sheet that will explain why we connect sentences together and what words to use to connect them effectively. For example, we can use the word ‘but’ or ‘however’ to join two sentences that are opposite of each other in meaning. If you look at the cheat sheet, you will realise that it is almost like Synthesis and Transformation of Paper 2.
Download: Connecting Sentences
Again go through this with your child, we hope you have gotten the basic idea of how to create complex and compound sentences.
In our classes
Let’s talk about how to combine practising tenses and sentences together. At RG Channel, we use this worksheet to help our students to create impressive sentences. Simply put, it will help your child write sentences that are more sophisticated and in the correct tense. This will inspire them to write their own complex and compound sentences during their examinations.
To begin download the worksheet as reference.
Download: Sentences for Language and Organisation
- Get your child to write many simple sentences to form a story
- Help your child to change the sentences to the past tense (if they are not in the past tense)
- Finally, help your child to combine these sentences together to form compound and complex sentences that are in the past tense.
You can stop here if you want, or if your child is feeling up to a challenge, please read on.
Building on top of last week’s tip
Congratulations on pressing forward!
We now want to combine this practice with last week’s to create engaging paragraphs. Hopefully, you and your child have been practising the “Content in Continuous Writing” tip from last week.
Together with this week, you can see that our tip can be even more powerful with emotions added in. Using the third example about the cat in worksheet you just downloaded, you can modify the statement by adding emotions and change it to:
“The warm sunshine lifted my spirits as I walked down the road towards the bus stop. As I walking and skipping along, I heard the soft meowing of a cat. Puzzled at the sudden noise, I stopped and looked around but I could not see the mysterious cat. Maybe it was like the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland! I smiled a bit as that thought entered my mind. The sound of meowing continued and I continued to squint my eyes in hope of spotting the elusive feline. After some time, I finally realised that the sound came from above me. I looked up the tree beside me and I spotted the grey kitten seated forlornly on a high branch of the tree.”
As you can see three simple sentences have been transformed into a paragraph that expresses a richness in emotion and imagery.
You don’t need to be very proficient in English to help your child. Just ensure that your child is able to join the sentences coherently. Remind your child to do this in his essay. It doesn’t need to be done all the time (an essay full of complex and compound sentences will equally kill the interest of the marker), but ensure that there is some variety.
If you have any difficulties, please feel free to pop in to check out more information or even enrol your child in our free trial class, the “FutureSchool@Experience”! Remember to “Like” us on Facebook and come back again for more free tips as we prepare for the exams with you and your child.