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Teacher: Meg Strauss Date: February 6rd, 2016

School: Holyoke Junior High School Grade Level: 8th

Content Area: English
Title: Engaging Introductions Lesson #:_6_ of _16_

Colorado State Standards Addressed:

Standard 2.3.a.iii: Explain how word choice and sentence structure are used to
achieve specific effects (such as tone, voice, and mood)
Standard 3.1.a.i: Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and point
of view and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence
that unfolds naturally and logically.
Students will understand the variety of introductions that can be used in a story,
ultimately coming to the conclusion that having an engaging introduction is
necessary when writing a personal memoir.
Inquiry Questions:
Why is having a strong introduction important in personal memoir writing? What
makes an introduction engaging?
Evidence Outcomes: (Learning Targets)
I can: understand the various types of introductions.
This means: I can comprehend the importance of using a strong introduction in my
own personal memoir.
List of Assessments:
- Students will turn in an assignment sheet in which they have written
examples of the different times of introductions.
- Students will also turn in a reflective exit slip that analyzes the effect
introductions have on a story.

Planned Lesson Activities

Name and Purpose of Name: Engaging Introductions
Purpose: Students will learn the various types of introductions, as well
as the importance of using an engaging introduction in their writing.
Approx. Time and
Materials Duration of Unit: 50 minutes

Materials: computer to play video, assignment sheet on introductions

Anticipatory Set Students will watch the video Writing a Personal Memoir: Writing an
Introduction or Opening. Students will actively be taking notes while
watching the short video.
Procedures Teacher Actions Student Actions

1. 5 minutes- 1. 5 minutes-
Announcements Actively listen to announcements.
Question Answer attendance question
What is your
favorite season?
2. 10 minutes-
2. 10 minutes- Watch video on introductions in
Inform students personal memoirs and actively take
that we have notes on that video.
worked on some
main aspects of
narrative writing
(theme and topic,
voice), and now
you will be
working on the
actual meat of
the memoir. Tell
students today
we will be
learning about
Tell students to
get out pen and 3. 25 minutes
paper in order to Receive and look over the
take notes. introductions assignment sheet
Play video on Get into your writing circles
introductions. With your writers circle, complete the
3. 25 minutes- assignment sheet by coming up with
Pass out examples of the various introductions.
introduction Share the introduction your group is
worksheet most proud of, and listen to the other
Inform students groups share their own introductions.
to get into their
writing circles
Tell students to
complete the
writing the start
of the story using
all forms of
Walk throughout
the room and
help students
write their 4. 10 minutes
introductions. Write a reflection according to the
For the last five questions provided by the teacher
minutes of this Turn in that reflection
activity, have Pack up your things and get ready to
each group share go to your next class
the introductions
they are most
proud of.
4. 10 minutes-
Pick up
assignment sheet
from each group.
Tell students to
get out a piece of
paper and begin
to reflect on
Have students
answer the
What makes an
Why is having an
What is your
favorite type of
introduction and
Receive reflection

Closure Students will reflect on the importance of using a strong introduction in

their personal memoirs, analyze what they feel makes an introduction
engaging, and determine their favorite type of lead and explain their
Assessment Each writers circle group will turn in an assignment sheet that has their
groups examples of each type of introduction. Students will also turn in
a reflection that assesses their understanding of the importance and
variety in regards to story introductions.

Differentiation Students will be put in their assigned writing circles when creating their
own introductions.
Notes to Self - 25 minutes might be too long of a time to keep students
entertained on one activity
- Perhaps I could add a short break in betweentell students to
walk around the hall, jumping jacks, etc.

Video on introductions found at:

There are many different types of introductions to a story. Here are a few:

The dramatic lead:

Grabs the reader right off the bat
Intense honesty
Example: Whenever I got into trouble, my mother always had a straight look at me. I

would start to cry then, not out loud buy in my heart.

Starting in the middle:

Might begin with a loud sound

Immediately brings the reader into a scene
Example: Wheres Papa going with the axe? said Fern to her mother as they were

setting the table for breakfast. (Charlottes Web by E.B. White)

Leisurely leads:

Does not get straight to the point

Often times begins with a description
Example: From the overcast grey sky fell tiny white snowflakes which fluttered this way

and that until finally settling on some unfortunate leaf.

Introducing the narrator/character:

Immediately introduces the person who is telling the story or the main character
Example: Paul was a very unusual boy. One would often find Paul running barefoot

through the halls of the school.

Example: I am normally not one to boast; however, when it comes to surfing, I am

basically a professional.

The ambiguous lead:

Lacks clarity which is often intriguing to a reader

Example: In most ways I am just like other kids in age. In other ways, I am not.


Working with a group, write one dramatic lead, one lead that starts in the middle, one leisurely

lead, one lead that immediately introduces a character or narrator, and one ambiguous lead. You

will write these introductions based on the prompt, A boy/girl has just moved to a new town.

Write a story about this boy/girls experiences.

(inspired by Ralph Fletcher)