Skip to contentContribute to ReadWriteThink / RSS / FAQs / Site Demonstrations / Contact Us / About Us



Contribute to ReadWriteThink

ReadWriteThink couldn't publish all of this great content without literacy experts to write and review for us. If you've got lessons plans, videos, activities, or other ideas you'd like to contribute, we'd love to hear from you.



Professional Development

Find the latest in professional publications, learn new techniques and strategies, and find out how you can connect with other literacy professionals.



Did You Know?

Your students can save their work with Student Interactives.

More more

HomeClassroom ResourcesLesson Plans

Lesson Plan

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

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

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

Sarah Dennis-Shaw

Avon, Massachusetts


International Literacy Association



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



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.

back to top



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

back to top



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.

back to top