Topic: Composition

These resources relate to writing skills, including the composition of essays, persuasive pieces, and other types of texts.

No 'AND's

In this lesson, students build a story without the word and.

Goals

  • Recognise the uses and meaning of the word and.
  • Become more conscious of our own use of the word and.

Lesson Plan

The teacher explains that today, we will tell a story. There's only one rule: no one is allowed to use the word and.

Nonfinite clauses in literature

In this activity, students look at how nonfinite clauses might be used in their own writing and that of others to vary the structure of a text. On one level, this is about creating something that people like to read: something that is interesting, varied and engaging and designed to hook the reader or suit the style you are hoping to adopt. On another level, it’s about students showing teachers and examiners that they know about different forms and can use them in their writing.

Passives with 'get'

Goals

  • Identify the difference between a get-passive and a standard passive.
  • Describe some of the differences between get-passives and standard passives in terms of grammar, semantics, and pragmatics.

Lesson Plan

The teacher explains that today, we will look at passives.

First, let's briefly review our understanding of actives, and of passives and get-passives. 

Passives with 'get': Activity

Uncle Ahmed was bitten by the snake.
Uncle Ahmed got bitten by the snake.

A large house was demolished on Westmoreland Hill.
A large house got demolished on Westmoreland Hill.

These temples were abandoned in medieval times.
These temples got abandoned in medieval times.

Past participles in composition

This activity involves working with nonfinite clauses to do some sentence-splitting and sentence-joining. The purpose is to develop your awareness of the different kinds of structures that are available to you as a writer.

Past participles in composition: Activity 1

His report, published yesterday, demands fundamental changes in the way safety is regulated in the North Sea. →

His report was published yesterday. It demands fundamental changes in the way safety is regulated in the North Sea.

Invented in the late sixties, the melotron used a complicated system of loop tape recordings to achieve an effect similar to sampling. →

Past participles in composition: Activity 2

Beckett’s early work was written in English over the period from 1929 to 1938. It seems restless, nomadic. →

Written in English over the period from 1929 to 1938, Beckett’s early work seems restless, nomadic.

The electromagnetic bell was patented in 1878 by Thomas Watson. It is rugged, reliable and loud enough to be heard from some appreciable distance. →

Playing with person

In this exercise, students make changes to pronouns in texts, and evaluate the effects of those changes.

Goals

  • Identify first, second, and third person pronouns, and practise switching from one to another.
  • Evaluate the effects of writing using different personal pronouns.

Lesson Plan

The teacher explains that today, we will make changes to existing texts by changing the personal pronouns in those texts.

Playing with person: Activity

I’m sitting here looking out of the window. Nothing’s happening; it never does. I sit here every day for hours on end, just looking. Looking for what? I don’t know. They never told me what I should be looking for. And I’ve never found out.

I once thought I’d found something, but I couldn’t be sure. It might just have been a trick of the light. How was I to tell?

Preposing

In this exercise you can see what happens when you move elements, particularly Direct Objects, earlier in the clause.

Preposing: Activity

Some things I can remember without writing them down. → I can remember some things without writing them down.

Hardbacks I wouldn’t lend to anyone. → I wouldn't lend hardbacks to anyone.

Present participles in composition

This activity involves working with nonfinite clauses to do some sentence-splitting and sentence-joining. The purpose is to develop your awareness of the different kinds of structures that are available to you as a writer.

Present participles in composition: Activity 1

Returning to the area after the War, Pissaro largely retained the same fiction about Louveciennes. →

Pissaro returned to the area after the War. He largely retained the same fiction about Louveciennes.

Having fallen completely from view since May, he finds another window suddenly beckoning. →

Present participles in composition: Activity 2

I arrived just before lunch. I looked for Harry Frampton in the dining room. →

Arriving just before lunch, I looked for Harry Frampton in the dining room.

The ZR-1 looked little different from the normal Corvette. It performed like a Ferrari or a Lamborghini. →

Register and vocabulary

This lesson invites students to explore the differences and similarities between vocabulary pairs like make and produce, take and transfer, and give and provide.

Register and vocabulary: Activity

It's very difficult to produce any form of art unless you are driven.
It's very difficult to make any form of art unless you are driven.

The way oceans take heat from the equator to the poles is different for two reasons.
The way oceans transfer heat from the equator to the poles is different for two reasons.

Sentence building

In this activity, students ask the question: what is a sentence? Then, they answer it using an interactive smart board sentence generator.

Goals

  • Identify sentences and non-sentences.
  • Create some examples of sentences and non-sentences using an interactive smart board sentence generator.

Lesson Plan

The teacher explains that today, we will answer the question: what is a sentence?

Sentence generator

What did you and your family do on the holidays? In this activity you will experiment with our special sentence generator which reports on some unusual holiday happenings.

Sentence generator: Activity

Click on each column to scroll up and down, and make different combinations.

Click on the dice at the top of the columns to get a new random ordering of elements.

In slide 2, re-order elements by clicking within a column and dragging to left or right (or by clicking on the arrows at the tops of the columns).

Sentences with 'because'

In this activity, students practise composing sentences with the word because.

Goals

  • Identify the causal relationship that underlies use of because.
  • Compose some reasonable sentences using because.

Lesson Plan

The teacher explains that today, we will practise using the word because.

Sentences with 'because': Activity

I'm wearing wellies.
Why?
Because it's raining.

I'm wearing wellies
because
it's raining.

You're it.
Why?
Because I tagged you.

Sentences with 'if'

In this activity, students practise composing sentences with the word if.

Goals

  • Rehearse an implicit understanding of the conditional meaning of if.
  • Practise composing sentences using if.

Lesson Plan

The teacher explains that today, we will practise writing sentences with the word if.

Sentences with 'if': Activity

If you're wearing red, raise your hand.

If you're wearing blue, stomp your feet.

If you're wearing velcro, scratch your head.

If you have a zipper on your clothes, scratch your ear.

If you're the tallest one, wiggle your nose.

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