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Lesson Plan

Once They’re Hooked, Reel Them In: Writing Good Endings

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 Five or six 45-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Rebecca L. Olness

Black Diamond, Washington


International Literacy Association



From Theory to Practice



Student writers may start out with a catchy beginning, only to get bogged down and just stop at the end. By exploring endings from children’s literature, students learn that a good ending leaves the reader with something to think about and that it often refers back to the beginning through repetition of words or ideas. This lesson encourages students to recognize literary techniques and use them in their own writing to create a conclusion that will keep readers hooked until the end of the story. This lesson is a logical follow-up to the lesson "Fishing for Readers: Identifying and Writing Effective Opening "'Hooks,'" in which students are taught how to write effective openers.

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

  • Sharing literature with students is an ideal way to show them organizational patterns and techniques that authors use.

  • Writers should have a general idea of the ending before starting and be thinking about the ending while writing.

  • Authors often resolve the most pressing problem in a story, but still leave room for interpretation and imagination at the end.


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