Monthly Archives: July 2010

(Un)Predictable Predator

It was supposed to be an attempt to give my class some fresh ideas for story starters.  The strategy here has to do with using multiple key questions to lead the reader into the main idea of the essay.  In this case, the more predictable answer was supposed to be “survival camp or some CCA training camp in the jungle”.  Well, the beauty of teaching is that nothing ever goes as planned.  Here is what transpired:

Me: Here’s an example where you could use multiple questioning.  Read this extract on the slide.  Tell me what you think the story or essay is likely to be about.

Slide: Have you ever wondered how you would survive if you found yourself alone in the wilderness? How would you defend yourself against predators? What would you eat? Where would you find water?

Nat Tan: Chinese lesson




25 Simple Story Starters

I found these story starters online while I was preparing my lessons for the week.

  1. Shadows quivered on the wall as the candle flickered, then fizzled to nothing.
  2. I could just make out the windows high in the castle wall.
  3. She SO did not want to be here, especially when. . .
  4. He slammed forward as the brakes screeched and the car . . .
  5. It was the strangest thing I had ever seen, with tubes and wires . . .
  6. The lane was night-dark, even at noon.
  7. He stared at the credit card, numbers blurring in front of his eyes, wondering if . . .
  8. She ducked as the plate smashed against the wall behind her.
  9. She hesitated at the post box, not knowing if she should really send the letter.
  10. It was one of those days when everything seemed to go wrong.
  11. My hand trembled as I punched the number into the phone.
  12. She knelt on the tile floor, carefully picking up the shards of glass. Why did it have to be this one that broke?
  13. Colors swooped and swirled behind his closed eyelids as the music soared, taking him back to . . .
  14. The chattering birds made her smile, until she heard a growl.
  15. The dream last night had seemed so real, but it was just a dream, right?
  16. The storm whipped the trees outside and she huddled into her quilt.
  17. Sun, sand, sea—total relaxation. So why couldn’t he let go?
  18. She watched his lithe body saunter away. “You’re engaged,” she reminded herself.
  19. She tore through the alley, ducked into a doorway, and tried to squeeze into nothingness.
  20. It wasn’t going to be easy, but somehow she had to confront her mother.
  21. Trapped. A rat in a maze, a tiger in a cage, every cliché he could think of—he was trapped.
  22. The building shook, lurching and jumping, and the little china horse fell off the mantel.
  23. The prickles on his neck told him he was being watched.
  24. The sun was soft and the boat rocked gently. It wasn’t so bad running out of fuel, until . . .
  25. Damn. She didn’t know passports even had an expiration date.

Coral Reefs Videos

I am extremely tired now and I don’t really feel like saying much.  These are videos for teaching comprehension skills and I am putting them up here so that I don’t have to search all over again.

smile. keep smiling.

I like variety.  I can’t stick with the same task for too long.  I like to try to do something that hasn’t been done before.  In short,  I like a challenge.

That explains why this is one part of my job which I find a lot of satisfaction.  It is hard work because you need to see it through right till the end, sometimes right till late at night.  But when you see your ideas turn into reality, nothing beats that indescribable joy.

Every year, we exercise infinite patience to encourage the very sporting student models to keep smiling and scrutinize the digital mock-ups.  I am proud that our Kranjians look so good on the covers and they have gotten lots of praises from people from all walks of life.

You could have heard.  We did our photo shoot for this year just last Saturday.  It was by far the largest we did with over 20 plus student models and some rather interesting ideas thrown at them.  I am grateful for everyone of them (including Ms Nat) for giving up a precious Saturday morning to do this for the school.  You all are wonderful and boy, did we have fun!

Here’s a sneak peek 🙂

Continue reading

feet’s up

It’s been a very very hectic two days.

I am relieved that the weekend is here.

Pic: Colour Me Katie

your moment.

” Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen Hard. Practice Wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is. ”

~ Mary Anne Radmacher