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Lesson Plan

Fishing for Readers: Identifying and Writing Effective Opening "Hooks"

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Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Four 45-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Sarah Dennis-Shaw

Avon, Massachusetts

Publisher

International Reading Association

 

Overview

Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice

 

OVERVIEW

Writing a catchy introduction or "hook" often eludes even the most proficient writers. In this lesson, students work in pairs to read introductory passages from several fiction texts and rate them for effectiveness. Then, the teacher guides the class in categorizing their favorite "hooks" according to the author's strategy (e.g., question, exaggeration, exclamation, description). Strategies and examples serve as resources for students’ own writing, and students can then explore how the same story can be introduced in different ways. For the final part of this lesson, students write a variety of hooks for one story topic, using the interactive Flip Book to publish their work.

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FEATURED RESOURCES

Flip Book: This interactive tool allows students to create several hooks for a single story topic.

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FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE

Olness, R. (2005). Using literature to enhance writing instruction: A guide for K-5 teachers. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

  • The first few lines of any piece of writing are essential because they set the tone and make the reader want to read on.

  • A good opening line should leave the reader asking a question. This question should invite the reader to keep reading.

  • The more students become aware of effective hooks in literature, the more they are able to see the importance of good introductions in their own writing.

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