You have all been privy to the various posts that have appeared on the Pre-IGCSE blog since starting this virtual classroom. I am sure that you are considering how all the posts are interconnected as they may seem quite random to you. Everything in English is ALWAYS related; it is HOW and WHY you make the connections that allow for ease of understanding.

So what does punctuation have to do with words banks? And what do work banks have to do with Poetry and what do grammar rules have to do with any of this in general?

Let me tie up the pieces

In order to WRITE well, you need to be equipped with the TOOLS with which to accomplish the task. You will be very aware of the fact that, unless, you use punctuation correctly you could create nuances in meaning when writing that have far reaching consequences; If your punctuation is incorrect you meaning can be SKEWED and not as you intended

Who would have known that this is what you can do with punctuation?

Face drawn with punctuation marks

On a more serious note, the reason that we learn to use and apply all punctuation appropriately and with consideration is that it DOES make us better writers. Please get into the habit of practicing it daily!

In addition to the four posts on punctuation you were required to derive a DESCRIPTIVE sentence using a strong word bank for the picture of the tiger. The exercise (there will be many of these) has a three-part function: 1) the opportunity to practice punctuation 2) growing your vocabulary and 3) creating mood and atmosphere. Mood and atmosphere…huh? What is this? Mood and/or atmosphere is the terminology specifically associated with DESCRIPTIVE writing. In order to adhere to the techniques of a descriptive style, a prerequisite is the ability to use words to create a mood. So what does this mean? Basically mood is what we feel, thus if I post a picture such as the tiger, I want to FEEL (if I close my eyes without looking at the picture) the image that you create with words. Hence, if the picture is an image of ferocity I want to FEEL with the use of your words the FEAR captured by the ferocious image. We can feel in a number of ways: We can see it (sight), we can hear it (sound), we can smell it (smell), we can taste it (taste), we can touch it (touch). These are all SENSORY abilities and they allow the opportunity to FEEL. Therefore, most descriptive writing is sensory. It can be literal or metaphorical depending on the INTENTION, for example, one can smell fear, fear can smell like danger and so forth.

And let me add the words of others also!

The most proficient writers try their utmost NOT to make descriptive statements; these are merely explanations not descriptions. It is one thing to state something and another to create a mood or feeling by using words to paint a picture. Thus, your INTENTION is always to create, not to tell – you will be given the opportunity to tell when writing narratives.

Think about the impact of this picture below:

Powerful isn’t it? What mood has been created? How do we know this? Think about the words and the pictures together. What can we see? What do we feel? What does wiping away a tear feel like? How does this effect what we can possibly hear? The INTENTION is to create a MOOD that transmits an IMAGE that we will remember. It does NOT require a story. Only a mood.

Task for the picture: Describe the little boys face vividly in two DESCRIPTIVE sentences. Capture the mood. (Do not tell me what the picture is about, I know what it is about, I want to be able to close my eyes and see the picture you have created without there being a picture.)

And finally, how does all of this relate to your ability to indicate to me what a poem can mean?  Basically it is simple: If you can write with ease and proficiency and create your own mood and intention and meanings, it becomes far easier to ‘’see’’ the mood and intention and meanings in others writing, no matter who the writer is!