Are your students hooking their readers? Use this creative and imaginative writing exercise that will bring student beginnings to life.
Students will be able to hook their readers by composing an interesting beginning.
Introduction (5 minutes)
- Gather students together.
- Tell your students that they will learn how to hook, or engage, their readers by composing an interesting beginning.
- Read the poem "Narrative Beginnings."
- Activate prior knowledge by reviewing story leads, characters, settings (time/place), and problems.
- Then, choose a few students to give examples of each story element.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (15 minutes)
- Display the Story Lead organizer for students to view.
- Introduce the organizer. Read each column, and point out that the problem column is blank.
- Explain how your students will choose one example from each column to compose their interesting beginnings.
- Model this for your students. Starting in the first column, choose a story lead.
- Next, draw a line from your story lead to an example from the list of characters.
- Then, draw a line from the character to the setting.
- Finally, write the character's problem in the last column.
- Once completed, copy and write your beginning at the bottom. Read this to your students. Refer to the teacher example.
Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (10 minutes)
- Display another copy of the Story Lead organizer for students to view.
- Choose a student to select a story lead.
- Then, ask another student to draw a line from the story lead to a character.
- Follow the same process for setting and problem.
- Invite a student to write the problem.
Independent Working Time (20 minutes)
- Before students work independently, ask if there are any questions.
- Pass out a Story Lead organizer to each student.
- Instruct your students to walk back to their desks/tables and compose their interesting beginnings.
- If any student happens to finish before the allotted time is up, have him complete a second organizer or be a writing helper.
- Enrichment: Give your students a blank Story Lead organizer, and have them fill in each column to compose their own interesting beginnings.
- Support: Pair your students with stronger writers, and have them draw pictures of the story elements.
Assessment (5 minutes)
- As students are working independently, walk around and check in with each. Observe if the process of using the organizer and writing a beginning is easy or difficult.
Review and Closing (10 minutes)
- Divide your class into groups of 4. Have each group share their interesting beginnings.
- Select 4-5 students to read their beginnings to the class. Have the audience ask questions.
- To end the lesson, ask students what is included in an interesting beginning and what should be done to "hook" readers.