Challenging Pupils’ Thinking Ability through Demanding Writing Tasks: Sharing 2
Do you think it is good for the SPM 1119/2 candidates to be exposed to writing tasks which are challenging? Personally, I would say, YES. To challenge our candidates' thinking ability, we should not ask any of these questions; "What are the benefits of online shopping?", "Which sports club should teenagers join and why?" and "How can learning a foreign language be beneficial?" No doubt the three questions are valid writing tasks but I don't think so candidates will have a tough time to answer them.
Writing tasks in the SPM 1119/2 can be tough even for proficient writers if they get HOTS questions. No doubt they have the language but some of them lack practice answering HOTS questions. Other candidates, especially the intermediate ones, may need teachers to coach them how to respond to HOTS questions in writing. The following are three essay questions for Part 3 which incorporate HOTS questions. A model paragraph is provided for each Task 3. Perhaps, teachers can ask their pupils to examine each paragraph by answering some or all of the questions below:
What is the topic sentence in the paragraph?
What is the first supporting sentence?
What is the second supporting sentence?
What is the third (if there’s any) supporting sentence?
What are the cohesive devices in the paragraph?
Which one is a complex sentence?
Which sentence carries a straightforward idea?
Which word do you want to replace so that you can add less common lexis in the paragraph?
What new idea/detail would you like to include in the paragraph?
Which part of the paragraph that you would like to edit to make it better?
For sure, other activities can also be carried out to analyse the model paragraphs critically. What is best for the pupils will depend on a few factors such as their language proficiency, cognitive ability and needs. Teachers know best! Let’s keep preparing them! Let’s keep enhancing their readiness to respond to HOTS questions confidently!
Model paragraph for Task 3: How far do you agree that parental supervision can influence their children’s online activities?
Personally, I believe parental supervision can substantially influence their children’s online activities. With strict monitoring, parents can protect their children from inappropriate content. The children cannot simply visit any website. In addition, the time spent for online activities can also be reduced if parents really supervise them. Perhaps their children cannot do online activities as they wish but have to follow a schedule. [63 words]
Model paragraph for Task 3: In what ways can participation in charity projects promote personal growths among teenagers?
Charity projects can promote personal growths among teenagers in several ways. The teenagers who help the poor, homeless or orphans through certain charity projects will be exposed to the challenges they face. This exposure can foster teenagers to be more emphatic. Additionally, they will also become more grateful with what they have. Next, the projects will also develop teenagers to be individuals with better communication skills as they always have to interact with people of diverse backgrounds and needs. (78 words)
Model paragraph for Task 3: How far do you agree that having knowledge about consumerism can impact one’s lifestyle?
From my perspective, having knowledge about consumerism can indeed significantly impact one’s lifestyle. First, an individual who understands consumerism will make more informed decisions before purchasing goods and services. Besides, the chosen lifestyle will be moderate because the individual is always mindful of his or her financial planning and budgeting. Excessive shopping or impulsive buying is a taboo. In short, the person who truly understands consumerism will lead a safe and well-planned life. (73 words)
Do download this write up and edit the material accordingly to suit your teaching and learning objectives.