Teaching Writing: Essay Map (Brainstorming)

Found a really cool website in helping your students mapping out their ideas (Brainstorming) before writing an essay… Just to try something else (using technology ) rather than having a traditional method. In fact, we’re saving the papers, aren’t we? 🙂

Click on the link, and explore more about it.

rwtessay map



rwtessay3 rwtessay4 rwtessay5 rwtessay6

Here’s the overall result. You can even save it in the form of PDF and print it out!

Obesity by dyana

Good luck! 😉

Teaching Writing: Compare and contrast



I just have no idea how I came across this website. I just googled about teaching writing. Unfortunately, I found the Readwritethink website which even provides lesson plans and teaching resources for teachers out there! Here’s the link that I’ve found really helpful in explaining about compare and contrast in writing an essay.

For more resources, you may find at the ReadWriteThink website 🙂

Hopefully this helps…

Till then! 😉

First lesson (Writing an article)

It’s time to hit the keyboard!!

Starting from the second day, most of us have already got our own schedule. Then, we need to go into classes for relief, at least 1 class per day. Alhamdulillah, so far morning session students are well-behaved (so far that I’ve met). Alya met some students who were quite ‘straightforward’ in giving their thoughts. Tak makan samanlah kata orang. I don’t know if I meet those kind of students, how do I deal with them? I used to be a school prefect back then, and one of the ways that I think to be more effective in communicating with the so-called naughty or rebellious students is to speak to them nicely, but be firm! I am still not sure whether this is still applicable when I am a teacher, but I saw it myself during my SOP practicum. 3 teachers came to a group of boys, and asked them to join the rehearsal for the sports day. Well, I understand those boys were too tired and it was a hot day. But all 3 teachers were yelling at them, asking them to join in. It didn’t work. Instead, those boys just stayed there and buat bodoh aje. I felt kind of weird that time, and was too afraid to interrupt, because I wasn’t a teacher at that moment. Then, a female counselor came near to those students, without yelling at them, she told those boys to get into the lines, but with a serious-looking face and tone of voice. Surprisingly, the got up and walked away, joining the rehearsal. So I personally don’t think teachers have to waste their energy to tell kids to do this or that. They’re humans, just like us. They also have feelings, so treat them nicely… Though they’re not good academically, I’m pretty sure they have some other abilities within themselves. So let’s be more humane, okay? 🙂

Last Friday was my first lesson ever! I didn’t prepare my lesson plan the night before as I was too sleepy and tired of marking my students’ essays. 2 essays per book and there were a total of 40+ students in 4 Shatir. Yeap. And surprisingly, more boys than girls in that class, and boys are more active as compared to girls. The girls are too shy to give or share their opinions, so far that I observed. Luckily I managed to draft a bit on my lesson plan. 😀

Since I need to have 1 lesson on writing per week, so students have to produce an article about ‘Flood Safety Tips’. I like this topic as it is related to the real issues that’s happening in our country. Plus, a lot of values can be instilled through this lesson (if you know how to explain & goreng-lah!).

My self-reflection on this lesson;

  • You have to be quick, if you plan to do some activities, just distribute your materials when you have the time to do so. As for me, when my students were writing their sentences using modals, I quickly distributed the mahjong papers and marker pens. You don’t want to waste so much time after that.
  • Dividing the whiteboard into several sections would be so helpful! Thank you Dr. Zainurin for telling us this very useful tips. Perhaps I should improve my handwriting. Hehe.
  • It’s better to go straight to the point, don’t elaborate too much. Be short and precise (I remembered Dr. Adlina told us this). Yes! You don’t have much time to teach f you are busy talking too much and entertain every students and stop you from teaching. Let’s focus on the learning first, then you can spend as much time as you want to have more  chit-chatting with your students. 🙂
  • Be firm, and show your authority. My students were too shy to come forward and present their mind map, especially the girls. Only 1 group presented at first, but I needed another group to present. So I said; “I no more group is presenting, I am going to give 2 essays for your homework! I will count until 3.1…2….” Before I finished counting until 3, a group volunteered to present (Nasib baik, kalau tak buat malu je. Hihi). And 1 thing that I learned from the lesson, students will follow whatever you show them. Seriously, you need to get them to decide on their own. I don’t know why, most Malaysian students (including me) have the same pattern of thinking. Their mind-maps had the same pattern. Haha. And the girls were too particular about the details & decorations of their mind-map, which will drag the lesson. 😦

For the sake of sharing and learning, here’s the lesson plan I’ve prepared. This lesson plan might have some shortfall. I am still in the process of learning. Ahaks. Have a great time teaching, teachers!

Date/Day :
Time :
Form :  4 Duration : 60 minutes
Enrolment :   /
Subject : English Language
Topic : Writing –Chapter 2: Friends, countrymen…
General Objectives By the end of Form 4, students should be able to write an instructional article.
Learning Outcomes By the end of the lesson, students should be able to:

1.       Write two (2) sentences in pairs using modals correctly.

2.       List down five (5) main ideas for ‘Flood Safety Tips’ in groups correctly.

Contents 1.       Grammar: Modals (Should & need to)

2.       Vocabulary: Flood plain & evacuation centre.

Language Skills


Reading, listening, speaking, & writing.
Values To be grateful and to help people who are in need.
Prior Knowledge Students know about the issue of flood that happened in Malaysia.
Instructional Aids Mahjong paper & marker pen.
Set Induction Teacher asks students whether they have any family members in Kelantan. Teacher tells her students on her friends’ difficulties while becoming a flood victim. Then, teacher asks students to take out their text book and turn to page 25.
Content Development 1.       Teaching modal verbs: (10 minutes)

Teacher asks students what they understand from the word ‘modal’. Then, teacher explains to students on the meaning of modal and its examples. Students give answers and teacher write them on the whiteboard. Teacher focuses on modals such as ‘should’ and ‘need to’. Then, teacher picks students randomly to read the sentences in the textbook.

2.       Teacher asks students to work in pairs and create 2 sentences using ‘should’ and ‘need to’ in 5 minutes. Teacher picks 3 pairs randomly to write their answers on the whiteboard. Then, teacher discusses the answers with students.

3.       Brainstorming:

Teacher divides students into four groups. Teacher distributes mahjong papers and marker pen to each group. Students discuss with their friends and write 5 main points in a mind map using the mahjong paper. Teacher walks around the class and observes students.

4.       Presentation:

Teacher picks two groups randomly and students present their ideas in front of the class. Teacher checks students’ answers and discusses with the students.

5.       Teacher wrote down the format of an article on the whiteboard and students copy in their books. Teacher explains the format to the students.

Conclusion 1.       Teacher asks students to complete the article on ‘Flood Safety Tips’ in their essay exercise books.

2.       Teacher concludes the lesson by telling the students the importance of helping people who are in need and to be grateful of what they have.

Evaluation of Learning Outcomes 1.       Evaluation of Learning Outcome 1

2.       Evaluation of Learning Outcome 2

Extended Work Students are asked to finish an article on ‘Flood Safety Tips’ in their essay exercise book, and submit on next Wednesday.