Strong Beginnings

Last week, the students in 3W were given a challenge which proved to be a bit more difficult than they expected.

Students moved from station to station in our classroom, reading only the very first page of a number of books. Once they had read the first page, they were asked to write any questions that came to mind on a sticky-note, and then move on to the next book.  There were questions galore! The challenge came in the instruction that students were NOT allowed to turn the page and continue reading. Many were very tempted to sneak a peek and see where the author was taking them!

Once students had returned to their desks, we examined the questions they had come up with and found that there were many similarities. We came to the conclusion, that good writers “hook” their readers quickly with carefully crafted story beginnings that make the reader want to continue reading.

The writers in our room have been busy crafting their own story openers designed to “hook” their readers. Writing lively, interesting beginnings that also provide the readers with clues about the story setting and characters can be very challenging, however we are finding it definitely gets easier with practice!

Look at how our writers have changed the following blue sentences.

 Hi. My name is is Kate. This is a story about the time I went to the zoo.

became….

“Roarrrrrr!” yelled the lion as Kate approached it. (by Ava)

This is a story about the time I built a robot in my basement.

became…

The robot had lost all math and brain function. (by Morgan)

I will tell you about my adventure swimming at the lake.

became…

“Ouch!” I slipped on the sand but nobody came. “This is the worst day ever.” (by Kalli)

Well done Grade 3’s! 

If you are interested in reading more excellent story starters check out First Lines or the Best First Lines Quiz where you can test your knowledge of famous first lines from Children’s Literature.

Feel like trying your hand at writing a strong, active beginning? Try revising the following BORING beginning:

This is a story about the day 3W went on a field trip.

I can’t wait to see your BETTER beginning in the comment section below. Remember, try to explain the action that is taking place and quickly capture the reader’s interest. Happy writing!

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4 comments on “Strong Beginnings

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