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How to Write Effective Beginnings. Effective Beginning Strategies. Ask questions State a fact Use dialogue or quote Invite reader into the scene Explain a problem Use five senses to entice reader. Once upon a time…. My name is… and I’m going to write about…. Ask questions….

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effective beginning strategies
Effective Beginning Strategies
  • Ask questions
  • State a fact
  • Use dialogue or quote
  • Invite reader into the scene
  • Explain a problem
  • Use five senses to entice reader
slide3

Once upon

a time…..

My name is… and I’m going to write about…

ask questions
Ask questions…
  • “ ‘Where's Papa going with that ax?’ said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast.” (from E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web)
state a fact
State a fact…
  • “There is no lake at Camp Green Lake.” (from Louis Sachar’s Holes)
  • “It’s a funny thing about mothers and fathers. Even when their own child is the most disgusting little blister you could ever imagine, they still think that he or she is wonderful.” (from Roald Dahl’s Matilda)
use dialogue or quote
Use dialogue or quote…
  • “ I am not a pest”, Ramona Quimby told her big sister Beezus. “Then stop acting like a pest,” said Beezus, whose real name was Beatrice. (from Beverly Cleary’s Ramona the Pest)
invite reader into the scene
Invite reader into the scene…
  • “The road that led to Treegap had been trod out long before by a herd of cows who were, to say the least, relaxed.” (from Natalie Babbitt’s Tuck Everlasting)
  • “A sailing ship with two great sidewheels went splashing out of Boston harbor on a voyage around the Horn to San Francisco. Below decks, in the creaking darkness of her cargo hold, there sat eighteen barrels of potatoes. Inside two barrels, side by side, there squatted two stowaways. It was not once upon a time – it was precisely the twenty-seventh day of January in the year 1849. Gold had been discovered in California some twelve months before an now, in a rush, the Gold Rush was on.” (from Sid Fleischman’s By the Great Horn Spoon)
explain a problem
Explain a problem…
  • “And they lived happily ever after. Not the Tillermans. Dicey thought. That wasn’t the way things went for the Tillermans, ever. She wasn’t about to let that get her down. She couldn’t let it get her down- that was what had happened to Momma.” (from Cynthia Voight’s Dicey’s Song)
use five senses to entice reader
Use five senses to entice reader…
  • “In the city of Ember, the sky was always dark. The only light came from great flood lamps mounted on the buildings and at the tops of poles in the middle of the larger squares. When the lights were on, they cast a yellowish glow over the streets;” (from Jeanne Duprau’s The City of Ember)
grab your reader s attention
Grab your reader’s attention…
  • “If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book.”  (from Lemony Snicket’s The Bad Beginning: A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 1)
  • “My name is India Opal Buloni, and last summer my daddy, the preacher, sent me to the store for a box of macaroni-and-cheese, some white rice, and two tomatoes and I came back with a dog.” (from Kate DiCamillo’s Because of Winn Dixie)
your assignment
Your assignment:

Choose two of the following topics to practice writing. Use two different effective beginning strategies.

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Effective Beginnings:

Ask questions

State a fact

Use dialogue or quote

Invite reader into the scene

Explain a problem

Use five senses to entice reader

Writing Topics:

Lake Tahoe

Disneyland

Marine World

In-n-Out

A Famous Person

Outdoor Education