BewareofCrimes 1

Authentic Learning | Beware of Crimes! (And what they can teach you.)

Beware of Crimes! You’ve seen them at your lift landings and you’ve seen them on Crime Watch. No, we’re not talking about your new neighbours. We’re talking about these crime prevention posters put up by the Singapore Police Force, warning people not to fall for scams.



It seems like these con artists are everywhere and their points of persuasion range from the tragic news of kidnap to happier ones like lottery winnings. More recent experiences have had individuals falling prey to scam calls from individuals pretending to be police officers, even!

Now you might be wondering, what does knowing about this have to do with English?

As it turns out, there’s meaning and resource aplenty to be found in reading such posters! Here are but three ways you can learn authentic english from crimes and how helpful it can be for the examinations, from looking at things we encounter every day.

Authentic resources: Posters, brochures, newspaper articles, television programmes

Areas that can be applied for assessment: Writing, Oral, Cloze Passage, Vocabulary

1. Building Real Characters

When we look at them, we not only gain an understanding of the ‘type’ of people that scammers might be targeting and so avoid being these people in the first place, but also a source of ideas for thinking up characters in a composition that might involve such storylines. From studying these posters together, you and your child might be able to draw out a list of characteristics that such scammers look out for in their victims. For one, it seems typical that scammers rely on the victims’ ignorance of such scams, before drawing on other aspects like the victims’ loneliness, greed or fear. If you are ready for more, you can also take note of the characteristics of these scammers as well and how they might have presented themselves to their potential victims.



With lists like this, and some real world learning about how to guard themselves from such compromising situations, your children will be ready with some convincing characters for their next composition or discussion during oral!

2. Growing Storylines

You can both try playing Sherlock as well by assembling a crime wall of sorts by looking at newspaper articles reporting such scams. Knowing the relationship between the people involved in the crime and how such a crime happened will give your child an authentic way of understanding how a problem could have taken place and how it was resolved.

Help your child identify who the victims are and how they came to meet the scammer or how the scammer identified the victim as his or her latest target. Both of you could then pick out information like what the scammer said, how the victim reacted which led to the problem of being cheated, and how the scammer was apprehended. If the scammer has not yet been caught, encourage your child to follow the news for more updates on this particular crime.

This activity could even see you both tracking the various types of scams and finding similarities between the crimes as you look for the how’s and why’s of the problem and finally, the solutions.  Be sure to make it a really visual affair! Use the posters or the pictures in articles if you’d like to make it even more realistic.


3. Picking up Vocabulary

You would notice that such crime reports and posters use similar phrases and vocabulary to talk about and discuss these crimes. These are things you and your child could pick up as well, to write into their existing notebook of vocabulary words or even to add to your (now-elaborate) crime wall. Your child can choose to jot down the meaning, write a sentence or even write down the sentence from the article where the vocabulary was used. Phrases like ‘fall victim to’, ‘be wary of’ and ‘lodge a report’ or words like ‘remit’ and ‘extortion’ are great additions to your child’s compositions when they are looking to write about a similar situation. With these words at the back of their mind, formulating their sentences and using them to relay the situation accurately would make for a more enjoyable writing experience.


And there you have it – some simple ways to make learning English fun and relevant to what is happening in the world around us! Today’s post had merely touched on one particular type of crime, scams. The activities mentioned above can extend to other types of crimes such as shoplifting, robbery, animal abuse, vandalism and more. As long as it is a possible idea for writing, do seize it!

Let us know how these ideas go and leave a comment on how you have made learning English exciting and engaging for your child too (:

Have something to share? Drop us a comment below!

Leave a Reply


Other related posts

Creative Writing | 3 Easy Steps to Write Your Own Haiku!
Verbs: More than Just Action Words! | Part 3: Changes in Verb Forms
Ketchup on English! – is, are, was and were!
Audience In Visual Text | Visual Text Comprehension
Exploring Points of View (POV) in Composition Writing
Metaphors For? | Part II – Implied Metaphors
10 Beautiful Vivid Verbs to Boost Your Writing and Oral! | Primary School English
Metaphors For? | Part I – An Introduction to Metaphors
3 Family-Friendly Shows on Netflix (Educational & Entertaining)!
Verbs: More than Just Action Words! | Part 2: Tenses
2021 Father’s Day Contest Winners
Verbs: More than Just Action Words! | Part 1: Subject-Verb Agreement
10 Beautiful Words You Can Use in Narrative / Descriptive Writing | Secondary School
Ways To Create A Well-Rounded Character | Creative Writing
Understanding Purpose-Related Questions in Visual Text Comprehension
How Playing Video Games Can Improve Our English (With Practical Tips for Parents!)
Primary School Composition | Onomatopoeia – What’s That?
2021 Mother’s Day Contest Winners + Our Founder’s Journey (Mother’s Day Special)!
Composition Revision: Using Your 5 Senses in Your Writing
How to Create A Dynamic Piece of Writing Using Idioms
Ketchup on English! – Subject-Verb Agreement
Punctuation Marks: Colon Vs. Semicolon
4 steps to Create Suspense
That Simile Though 2 | Using Stronger Similes
How to Avoid Plot Holes in Your Story!
PSLE ORAL | Compiled Prelim 2021 Oral Topics + Questions!
If you’re looking at getting recent PSLE Prelim Oral topics and practice questions, this will be an excellent resource for you!
5 Steps to Convert a Newspaper Article into a Cloze Passage
I would like to share with you 5 steps on how authentic articles can be transformed into cloze passages easily. Read on here!
PSLE English | Oral Conversation: Free SG50 Sample Practice + Model Answers
In this blogpost we will be touching on the oral stimulus-based conversation topic of National Day and SG50! Read on here!
PSLE English | Oral Conversation: Filling your Story with Details Easily + Free Revision Cards
By simply using the 5W1H, your children will be able to lengthen their stories (hence, the conversation!). Read on here!
PSLE English | Situational Writing: Q&A + Formal vs Informal Writing Comparison Chart
To aid you in your situational writing revision, here is a comparison chart that shows the differences between formal and informal writing!
PSLE English Tips | Oral: Stimulus-Based Conversation Checklist
To help my children handle the Stimulus-Based Conversation examination, here are some instructions again about using the checklist!
A Little Encouragement | DIY Motivational Bookmark (Easy to personalise too!)
A bookmark with a quote to motivate is also a chance for them to see the power of words and how words can mean more than what they seem.
Situational Writing: Step-by-Step Guide + Free Revision Card
I believe a walkthrough on the process of doing situational writing is in order. Here are the requirements for content and language!
I Love Reading | 5 Ways to Motivate Reluctant Readers
One of the most important ingredients necessary for a child or anyone learning English is the habit of reading. Get motivated to read now!
PSLE English | Printable Ultimate Grammar & Synthesis Summary
Today, we are sharing two lists of essentials in our Ultimate Grammar and Synthesis Summary Printable. Download them free here!
How Well Do You Know Your Past Participles?
While we are familiar with the past, present and future tenses, the little less known but equally important tense is the past participles.
Primary Composition Writing | Starting Sentences with Introductory Clauses
Today, we'll be revising the use of sentence starters to help you create variety in your sentence structures. Read on here!
The Sentence Train | Lower Primary English
Today, we are going to learn what makes up a sentence. It will come in handy when you do the word order activity in school! Read on here!
PSLE English Tips | Oral: Reading Checklist
This Oral Reading Checklist can be used by children when they practise reading on their own. Download it now!
Language of COVID | 10 Words Added to the Dictionary
Using Personification to Show, Not Tell!
Expressing Character Feelings Too! | Using Show-Not-Tell (Part 2)
How to Choose a Book to Read: 8 Ways
How to Dress Up A Boring Paragraph | Creative Writing
Ketchup on English! – Halloween Special: Prepositions of Time!
Ketchup on English! – Verbs Are Not Just Action Words!
Expressing Character Feelings | Using Show-Not-Tell
Which Picture Should I Use? | Choosing the Best Picture to Use for Composition!
Oral: Reading Passage | Long Vowels – Have You Been Reading Your Vowels Correctly?

Like what you are reading?

Subscribe now to receive news and tips hot off the press!

shape icon 06
shape icon 05