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    Great Beginnings!
    By LindaR

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    There are several ways for a writer to grab a reader's attention... To help my students develop an awareness of the attributes of effective and non-effective story beginnings, I use a number of chapter books (some are popular) for the kids to analyze.

    It's difficult to explain it all (I do have the actual lesson plan that I can attach if you're interested), but I use a specific strategy, Concept Attainment, to teach effective story starters. I learned this strategy in my Master's Program and have found it to be a powerful way to promote student awareness in constructing meaningful and exciting story starters.

    Basically, though, I have the kids discover from the chapter books (I've taught grades 3 and 6):


    We discuss what we've found and I record some samples of great ones, putting them under the above categories. These become posters for visual support.

    This is just a brief overview of what I do...

    There have also been various times that we'll do a pick-and-peek activity.... I pass out the chapter books and have the kids close their eyes. They fan their books and point their fingers on a particular sentence. Then, they open their eyes and copy down the sentence they found. That would be their story starter.

    The kids love doing this and many times they will change the sentence they've found to make it more of a grabber!

    Happy Writing!

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