• SPM 1119/1 Continuous Writing

    (Mid-Level) Narrative Writing (Kota tinggi, Johor SPM Trial 2018)

    Question:

    Write a story when you discovered you were no longer afraid of something. End your story with : “…after all, it was nothing at all.”

    Sample Answer by Students:


    Ailurophobia – the fear of cats.

    I never understood why I was so scared of cats. I didn’t feel disgusted when I look at them. In fact, I thought cats were very cute. They were fluffy, looked soft and the purring sound they made was nice. However, when they came near me, I would either scream or ran away.

    “You’re weird,” my best friend told me one day. “Most people are afraid of the cockroaches but you’re scared of cats. Cats are cute! How could you not like them?”

    The thing was, I liked cats. I really did. I was just scared of them. When they came near me, it felt like my life was in danger. I was scared that they would jump and hurt me although they were small. One day, I went home and asked my elder brother about it.

    “Brother, why am I scared of cats?”

    My brother laughed before telling me a childhood story I did not remember. Apparently when I was a toddler, I held a cat up by its tail and was bitten by the cat. I must have been traumatised by incident that I was still scared of cats although I couldn’t remember it. After hearing the story from my brother, I googled for the ways to overcome my fear of cats. I wanted to change. I didn’t want to be scared of cats anymore.

    It was not an easy journey. When I saw a cat, I would slowly approach it. If the cat ran away, I would not pursue it. If it didn’t run, I would try to touch it with my index finger. If the cat didn’t react negatively, I would try to pat its head. For a few weeks, I still retract my hand and backed away if the cat tried to get nearer.

    Later on, I started visiting the vet to try and play with the cats there. I pat their heads and learned how to hold them up. My first time holding a cat was funny. My hand was trembling so hard I ended up dropping the cat. I told myself that “Practice makes perfect” and didn’t give up. Soon enough, I could put a cat in my lap and smooth their fur with my hand!

    It was not easy to overcome a phobia but it was not impossible. My fear was still there but it was no longer crippling. I could now touch a cat. It wasn’t as scary as I thought. I learned that it was important to believe in yourself and work hard for your goals. After all, it was nothing at all.

  • SPM 1119/1 Continuous Writing

    (Mid-Level) Narrative Writing (Terengganu SPM Trial 2018)

    It’s time for Writing with Students slot. This narrative was written in class, incorporating ideas brainstormed by students from all my form 5 classes. As the students are mostly low to mid-level in proficiency, my focus is for them to use simple and clear language. If they are able to incorporate more colourful literary devices, that would be a plus.

    Question:
    Write a story about a boy who got lucky one day. End your story with: “If it were not for the incident, his life would have been the same.”

    Sample Answer by Students:

    It was not often that one would sit down, do nothing for a while and think about things that had happened in one’s life. Atman found himself doing just that. At 30 years old, his life was comfortable enough to afford a good car, a house, and a beautiful wife. His neighbours knew him as a kind man who liked to help others. Atman smiled to himself. He remembered what happened when he was young.

    Atman was a very naughty boy in secondary school. He did okay in class and he was not very rude to the teachers. However, Atman had one bad habit.

    Motorcycle racing.

    After getting his license, Atman’s parents bought him a motorcycle he had been wanting since he was in form one. At first, he rode his bike to school and around his neighbourhood. Unfortunately, he chose the wrong friends and later, he became involved in bike racing activity. He had won a few races. After each win, Atman became bolder.

    Atman started with simple stunts. When he felt confident enough, he tried more dangerous stunts like standing on his bike on the highway. One day, while he was doing his stunts, he rode past a teacher’s car. The teacher recognised him straight away and contacted his parents.

    When Atman reached home, his father slapped his cheeks so hard that he fell to the ground. He was shocked.

    “Why did you slap me, father? What did I do?” cried Atman, hand on his stinging cheek.

    His father huffed angrily, “You ungrateful son! How dare you ask what you did! You were in a bike race, weren’t you?”

    “What? No, father, I was just…”

    “You liar! From today onwards, you can no longer ride your bike! I will send you to school and fetch you afterward.”

    Unable to believe that his father would do that to him, Atman ran out of the house and rode his bike away. He was angry at his father for slapping him. As he was nearing a T-junction, a small girl suddenly ran onto the road to chase after a cat. Atman was too fast to brake in time. He pushed his body away from the bike, throwing it under a lorry as he fell to the side of the road. He rolled his body in pain. He heard people screaming. Before everything went black, Atman saw the girl holding her cat, crying. Oh, he thought, at least she’s safe.

    He woke up at the hospital. His mother was crying next to him. When she saw that he had woken up, she hugged him and made him promise not to ride his bike dangerously again. His father was also there. Atman only had minor injuries. His beloved bike could not be repaired. He apologised to his father. He realised that he could have died. He was lucky.

    Since that incident, Atman no longer rode a bike. Once he finished college, he saved enough money to buy a car. He was also a responsible driver. He was very glad to still be alive. If it were not for the incident, his life would have been the same.

  • SPM 1119/1 Continuous Writing

    (Mid-Level) Narrative Writing (Batu Pahat, Johor SPM Trial 2018)

    It’s time for Writing with Students slot. This narrative was written in class, incorporating ideas brainstormed by students from all my form 5 classes. As the students are mostly low to mid-level in proficiency, my focus is for them to use simple and clear language. If they are able to incorporate more colourful literary devices, that would be a plus.

    Question:
    Write a story when you were praised for something that you did not do but it has taught you a lesson. Begin your story with “I would never have imagined that…”

    Sample Answer by Students:

    I would never have imagined that I would one day feel so conflicted by something I did not do. It was a peaceful day at school. Everyone was minding their own business, lost in their studies and revision because SPM was just around the corner. About 30 minutes after recess, we heard an announcement.

    “Attention to all teachers and students, please gather at the main hall at 11.40am. Please move to the main hall in an orderly manner. Thank you.”

    The announcement didn’t state the reason for this sudden call to assemble. I thought it was a fire drill, but the alarm did not go off. How curious! My classmates and I lined up properly and made our way to the main hall as quickly as we could. It was a short walk but it was a very strange one for me.

    Every teacher I met along the way congratulated me!

    My best friend whispered hurriedly into my ears, “Hey, why are the teachers congratulating you? What did you do? Tell me! Tell me!”

    I shushed her and we continued walking. “I have no idea what is happening myself. Let’s just hurry to the hall and find out for ourselves!”

    Once we were in the hall, our class teacher approached me and asked me to sit next to her. My friends gave me questioning looks. My face mirrored theirs. I started to have unhealthy thoughts. Did I do anything wrong? However, the other teachers looked at me all smiles, so I calmed myself down and prayed.

    The principal greeted everyone and gave a speech about the importance of being kind to others. She shared a very touching story about a girl who helped injured victims of a recent road accident. According to the principal, the girl carried two elderly victims and stayed with them until the ambulance arrived.

    After that, when she found out the elderly victims had no other family members, she accompanied them to the hospital and helped to take care of them. She visited them every day until they got better. Wow, I thought, what a selfless person! I knew I couldn’t be that dedicated and kind. The principal continued.

    “And that is why the PPD and the District Hospital have decided to award the girl with a medal, a plaque and a certificate of good conduct. Please welcome Amirah to the stage with a big clap!”

    I blinked. And blinked. And blinked. And then I gaped. “What?!”

    Everyone started clapping and hooting. My class teacher asked me to go to the principal. With heavy steps, I walked towards the stage. Time seemed to stop for me. I was in a huge dilemma! Why did I say that?

    First of all, I didn’t help anyone. I certainly wasn’t the girl my principal just talked about. Also, I obviously wasn’t that brave! I was scared of blood. They had mistaken me for the brave girl, probably because our names were the same. What should I do? I could just pretend and hog all the praise and fame, and maybe no one would find out. Or, I could just be honest.

    I was about to smile and pretend I was that awesome girl when I remembered my late grandparent’s advice. “Always be truthful even if the truth hurts.”

    I stopped smiling. Oh, dear! I almost made a big mistake!

    So, I asked for the microphone to speak. They thought I was going to deliver a speech but they were surprised when I simply said the PPD and the District Hospital got the wrong person. There was chaos. Everyone chattered, confused. My principal called a few people and finally, the hall was silent when the principal announced that indeed, it was a mistake.

    Amidst the silence, I laughed out loud, confusing everyone. Then, everyone laughed with me. Indeed, it was easy to just enjoy the praise and pretend it was something I did but I decided to be truthful. It was better to be praised for something I really did. If I had lied, the lie might be exposed in the future. I would be ashamed. My school would be ashamed too! So, I would rather be truthful.