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.
Find the latest in professional publications, learn new techniques and strategies, and find out how you can connect with other literacy professionals.
Teacher Resources by Grade
|1st - 2nd||3rd - 4th|
|5th - 6th||7th - 8th|
|9th - 10th||11th - 12th|
Fishing for Readers: Identifying and Writing Effective Opening "Hooks"
|Grades||3 – 5|
|Lesson Plan Type||Standard Lesson|
|Estimated Time||Four 45-minute sessions|
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.
Flip Book: This interactive tool allows students to create several hooks for a single story topic.
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.