Lesson plan

Let's Hook 'Em!

Are your students hooking their readers? Use this creative and imaginative writing exercise that will bring student beginnings to life.
Grade Subject View aligned standards

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Students will be able to hook their readers by composing an interesting beginning.

(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.

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