Support Your Child to Write 4-Picture Compositions with these Golden Rules

NOTE. This format is only tested up to Primary 2!

Embarking on writing is a remarking and rewarding journey. Here at English Ninjas, we give our students practical tips to support our budding wordsmiths!

Here are the 5 Golden Rules for 4-Picture Compositions:

Paying attention to the visual cues in the pictures will allow your child to add description to their writing, making the story more vivid and engaging.

For example, if the picture shows the characters at a shopping mall, students should include descriptions of the mall in their writing. The facial expressions of the characters are also clues for students when they interpret the picture.

The 4 pictures are essentially freeze frames and do not tell a complete story.

Fill in the story gaps with details of what happened in between, to create a cohesive story with a logical sequence of events.

We encourage students to write from a first person perspective so when choosing which character to take on, students should choose the character represented in every picture. This rule ensures that the main character remains present and active throughout the entire composition.

Developing the character's actions, thoughts, or emotions across the four pictures is the key ingredient to engage the reader!

Sometimes, cliche expressions like “jumping with joy” does not help to accurately capture a character’s excitement.

It is important to look at the scenario and come up with realistic reactions like “I whooped and punched a fist in the air.”

Do not kill off the main character. Who was telling the story then?

Also, do not put your readers through an emotional rollercoaster for them to realise that nothing actually happened! Do not tell the whole story and then say, “I woke up and it was all a dream”.

Remember, knowledge does not equate to understanding! The Golden Rules of 4-Picture Composition are mere guidelines, so it is important to practice, practice and practice!

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