IGCSE narrative essay | 2011 May-Jun | You wake up, look out of your window, and discover


You are advised to write between 350 and 500 words on the following topic:

You wake up, look out of your window, and discover that something has happened during the night which has totally changed the area around your house. Write about what happens.

Model Essay

I woke up with a jolt, the alarm clock’s shrill ring echoing in my ears. As I stretched and rubbed the sleep from my eyes, I noticed an unusual brightness filtering through the curtains. Curiosity piqued, I shuffled to the window and drew the curtains aside. My heart skipped a beat.

The familiar suburban street I had lived on for years had transformed overnight into a winter wonderland. Snow blanketed everything in sight—rooftops, trees, cars, and the road itself. The once gray and dull landscape now shimmered with a pristine white glow under the morning sun. But this wasn’t just any snowfall. The sheer volume and rapid appearance of the snow were nothing short of miraculous.

Stepping closer to the window, I marveled at the sight. The snow was so deep that it reached halfway up the doors of parked cars. Icicles hung from the eaves of houses, glittering like crystal daggers. The trees, weighed down by the heavy snow, bent gracefully, their branches nearly touching the ground. Everything was eerily silent, the usual hum of morning traffic replaced by an almost sacred stillness.

My initial awe quickly gave way to a mixture of excitement and apprehension. The world outside looked beautiful, but how would we go about our day with such a drastic change? My parents were already up, and I could hear their voices from downstairs, mingling with the sound of the television.

“Come downstairs! You have to see this!” I called out to my younger brother, Sam, who groggily emerged from his room. Together, we hurried down the stairs to find our parents glued to the news, which was broadcasting scenes similar to ours from all over the region. The newscaster’s voice was tinged with both amazement and concern as she relayed reports of the extraordinary snowfall.

“Experts are baffled by this unprecedented weather event,” she said. “Meteorologists are calling it a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon. Authorities are advising people to stay indoors and avoid unnecessary travel until further notice.”


I turned to my parents. “What do we do now?”

Dad sighed, a mixture of resignation and determination in his eyes. “Well, first things first. We need to check on our neighbors and make sure everyone’s okay. Then we’ll see about clearing a path to the main road.”

We bundled up in our warmest clothes and stepped outside, the crisp air biting at our cheeks. The snow crunched under our boots as we waded through the thick drifts. Neighbors were emerging from their houses, equally stunned by the sight. We exchanged greetings and marveled at the transformation, quickly forming a plan to help each other dig out.

Armed with shovels, we began the arduous task of clearing pathways. It was hard work, but there was a sense of camaraderie that made it almost enjoyable. As we worked, laughter and chatter filled the air, creating a warm contrast to the cold surroundings. Sam and I even took breaks to build snowmen and engage in impromptu snowball fights, our spirits high despite the circumstances.

By midday, we had managed to clear a path wide enough for emergency vehicles to pass through. Exhausted but satisfied, we gathered in the middle of the street to share hot chocolate and stories. The sense of community was palpable; the snow had brought us together in a way that nothing else could have.

As I stood there, sipping my drink and watching the sunlight dance on the snow, I realized that this sudden transformation had not just changed our surroundings—it had brought a new sense of unity and resilience to our neighborhood. The snow would eventually melt, and life would return to normal, but the bonds we forged on this extraordinary day would remain, a testament to our collective strength and spirit.

Word Count: 626