To prepare students to consider good essay hooks, I start today by asking, what grabs your attention? We hear from every student in the room:
And so on.
I summarize their comments at the end, observing that most dealt with sensory details--what we can see, hear, taste, touch, and smell. I ask them, how does that connect to writing?
"We need to show what we say." Yes, indeed, I say. That's just one way to hook a reader.
With one method of introduction under our belts, I segue us into our topic for the day: the structure of good introductions. We look at various methods of hooking readers into an essay, what should be included for background information, and where to place the claim. Most importantly, we discuss why every essay needs to have a hook, background and claim:
Finally, we look at an example I created. I ask students, "why does this example work?" This draws them into activity. They point out how I connected to the bigger value in the claim, student engagement and success.
We're ready to write.
I ask students to write two introductions for their Past-Present-Future Essay and then choose their favorite, explaining why. By writing two possible introductions, students will experiment with two methods of hooks; the more they experiment, the more likely they are to expand their writing repertoire. I will offer feedback on their introductions and their comments, thus assessing their ability to write an introduction AND their ability to self-evaluate.