The word ‘composition’ is derived from the word ‘compose’ which means to combine together to form a whole. The composition itself means the different parts in which things are made and the way in which different parts are organized.
For example, an essay or a letter, or a piece or pieces of writing which involve thinking, planning, and putting down ideas is a composition.
Composition is said to be a form or art of communication involving a way of thinking, planning about something, and putting down ideas for people to read or assess.
The writer will first think about something, and after thinking, he will plan for it and after planning, a goo writing will take place.
Lack of proper thinking and planning may result in bad writing or communication. A guided composition calls for much work from the teacher.
The teacher ought to bear the following principles in mind to teach a guided composition effectively.
Principles Guiding the Teaching of Guided/Creative Composition
The following are the best principles guiding the teaching guided/creative composition.
The principle of age
Age is very important to consider in teaching composition. The teacher should know that the pupils are matured enough to give solutions to questions.
The teacher must try as much as possible to be able to complete the gaps in sentences. The teacher should make sure that the exercise before them does not exceed their vocabulary.
The principle of simplicity
What subject matter the teacher gives the pupils in guided composition must be simple and familiar enough for their age.
The subject matter should not fall under anything argumentative, but should fall within the realm of descriptive, narrative and expository.
The principle of conciseness
This is like the principle of simplicity but the difference is what the pupils are expected to be involved in guided composition.
The guided composition should not be wide and superfluous but concise. The content expected of the pupils’ composition should be brief. They should be expected to be able to be described or narrated precisely.
The principle of writing in sentences
Writing sentences are easier communication in a language. Any pieces of composition written in sentences will be understood clearly.
The teacher should have in mind that he should prepare a number of sentences for the pupils to complete in a guided composition lesson.
He should be ready with at least up to twenty sentences on a subject matter for the pupils to complete. With these sentences, pupils could be guided to write a structural composition on the subject matter.
Principle of hard or strenuous work
As earlier on mentioned the teacher must be prepared to work hard and find more time to his work to guide composition.
Much of the composition is done by the teacher. The pupils usually are involved in completing the composition.
Sometimes, the teacher gives the first and the last sentences of the composition. Sometimes, he asks a number of questions the answers of which will guide the pupils to form a composition on the given subject matter.
The teacher must be prepared to spare extra time to do the strenuous work on guided composition.
How to teach and assess learners on guided/creative composition
The following are suggested approaches to the teaching of guided composition.
Completing the blank spaces
In this method, the teacher prepares a number of sentences where he omits a number of words or phrases left for the pupils to complete in class.
The omitted words or phrases should fall within the vocabulary of the pupils. The subject matter should be simple enough for the pupils to understand.
The sentences should be well structured to prevent multiple possible answers. The subject matter must be some subject with which the pupils are familiar.
This is an approach that involves asking the pupils a number of questions the answer of which brought together will form a well composition on the given subject matter.
The lead questions should be carefully drawn and arranged in order so that the answer to them will form a guided composition.
Picture reading method
This is where we have a picture to be read as what the pupils can see. They should study the picture and write a number of sentences that will form guided composition, involving expository, narrative and descriptive subject matters.
A short drama may be arranged and played before the class. The pupils are told to account for what they could see from the short drama with a number of sentences. The method is very appropriate for narrative subject matters.
Advice to teachers
The topic discussed is a wide one. The study of which is enough to last a term or semester. The concise note below only gives the general guidelines of teaching beginners how to write composition.
It behooves a teacher to know the methodology of any lesson he has to teach.
The beginner who is taught to write composition needs to be introduced to the art of reading and writing skills.
The teacher ought to make available several teaching aids which will draw the pupils interest in writing.
Each lesson must be taught with visual and audio-visual aids to encourage the pupils concentration in the lesson.
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