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									    Have you ever read the beginning of a story and it grabbed your
     attention and you just couldn’t put the book down?

    That is what we need to focus on as writers, an entertaining beginning
     that grads the reader’s attention.

    Yesterday we talked about using the writing diamond to help us create
     quality narrative writing. Today we are going to focus on the first
     section of the diamond. We are going to learn how to write
     entertaining beginnings.

**(Prompt) Here I have an example of a prompt that a group of third
graders were given to write to. READ PROMPT

    I have a few samples of how some of the children began their writing
     for this prompt. I need some help to read these (Pull names)

This first example is called The Limp Hand Shake Introduction
       Is there any clue that this story will be about a mermaid?
       Do you think the bordom of the author will be passed along to the

The next example is called The Never Ending Small Talk Introduction
      What is the problem in this example?
      The writer has spent too much time and energy on the beginning
      Details and they are not relavant to the mermaid story.

This example is The Stick To The Facts Introduction
      What do you think is wrong with this beginning?
      Don’t tell what the story is about, just tell the story! The reader
      Picked up the story expecting to be entertained, not told what it about.

The last on is The Tell All About Me Introduction
      In this example the focus seems to be off.
      What was the focus supposed to be again?
      I think it is ok to include some of this information in the author’s
      Profile at the end of the story, but not as part of the story. It doesn’t
      Follow smoothly.

    Now that we have talked about some not so good first impressions,
     let’s discuss how to make a positive, memorable first impression.

This poster has a list of strategies to help you create entertaining beginnings.
It will be in our room for you to use as a resource, and each of you will
receive your own sheet to put in your writing folder.

Let’s talk about the first one.
ACTION- It is often exciting to use action in the beginning because it
reveals what the character is like, and it makes you think “What else might
this character do and why?” Here is an example from the story The
Whipping Boys…

What did this example make you think about the character?

DIALOGUE- I have noticed that a few of you are using dialogue in your
writing and that is a good idea because dialogue often grabs the readers
attention and raises story questions. Here is an example from the story
Charoletts Webb…

What are some questions you have from reading this example?
The reader has to read on to find out for sure!

THOUGHTS- Here is an example of how the author used thoughts to pull
in the reader. The story is called Something Upstairs…

The author used the main character’s thoughts to draw us immediately
into the head and heart of the main character.

QUESTION- This technique was used in the story the Blue Heron…

Again the author introduces a character and raises a question.
SOUND EFFECTS- Most stundets enjoy using sound effects because they
think they are so fun. Here is what Katherine Paterson wrote in the story
Bridge to Terabithia…

“Ba-room, ba-room, barroom, baripity, baripity, baripity, baripity-- Good.
His dad had the pickup going. He could get up now.

What could she have said instead of making the sound effects?
She could have said “He heard the noisy truck” Instead she has the
reader get inside the main character’s head and listen along.

Sometimes the author draws the reader in through the use of thoughts and
feelings. Here is an example from the story The Class Gift…

What reader wouldn’t have a connections with ho the characters is

    Now, with your help I am going to write an entertaining beginning,
     then you will write one entertaining beginning with your eye-partner
     and then one of your own.

Let’s read the directions. I am so exctited. I think I want to use the sound
effects beginning.

WOOSH! Went the wind across my feet as they dangled from the seat.
“Oh my goodness there are butterflies in my stomach..” said Chris. “I
can’t hold on much longer.” Jesse replied.

What do you notice about my writing? I used two different strategies.

Sound effects and dialogue. Now I want you to get with your eye-partner
and create your first entertaining beginning together. When you are finished
you may create your own and then we will pick one to share.

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