How to Write Hooks!

You would think that a blog post about writing hooks would have an incredible hook.

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Perhaps I am getting wimpy in my old age, but I am hesitant to even try it! You’ll have to settle for a GIF!

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What I will dare to do is introduce you to a new product that teaches secondary students how to write hooks!

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This writing mini-lesson includes everything you need to teach student how to write hooks. Beginning with an instructional Slides presentation, students will about learn five different types of writing hooks as they take notes on the included note-taking handout.

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Students can then practice writing hooks with a short practice activity, followed by a longer writing activity. A classroom anchor chart as well as student-friendly bookmarks are included to help students remember the content.

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Teaching students to write well can be incredibly tricky. I think it takes a lot of intentional direct instruction, examples, teacher modeling, and PRACTICE! In my class, I like to sprinkle writing assignments throughout all of my units, so that students are more comfortable with putting their thoughts down on paper (or computer screen). That way, when we do come to more formal writing assignments, it isn’t such a shock to my students. For this reason, parts of this lesson are included in my Unbroken unit.

If you haven’t read Unbroken yet, you should! It’s an incredible story of inner strength and resilience. My unit is centered around the young adult version of Unbroken, but the original version is also a great read. The author, Laura Hillenbrand, includes a masterful hook at the beginning of the story. It’s a fantastic real-life example of a hook and I love using it to show my students the power of an incredible hook!

What other real-world examples of hooks can you think of? Share in the comments!!

Until Next Time,

Brenna (Mrs. Nelson)


Middle School Valentine’s Day Activity

Is there a more uncomfortable day in the year for middle school students than Valentine’s Day?

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Amid the inevitable awkwardness, Valentine’s Day can lend itself for some fun learning activities! If you’re wondering how to channel your students’ nervous energy on Valentine’s Day, I’ve got you covered!

Valentine’s Day Activity

For this month’s freebie, I’ve put together a fun Valentine’s Day Poetry Writing Project! With these resources, students will write an “Ode” to whomever or whatever they choose! If students want to be serious, of course that’ s okay. However, I find that most middle school students like to have some fun with this assignment.

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Valentine’s Day Writing Assignment for Middle School Students.

In the past, I’ve had students compose poems in honor of their pet snakes, their favorite sport, or their grandma! All of them have been hilarious!

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True Story: I am irrationally and hysterically afraid of snakes. I once had a student bring pet snakes into the classroom. I ended up being alone with them in the classroom for about thirty minutes before the student’s parent could come pick them up. The two snakes were doing their best to escape their travel box which was basically a plastic tote with a loose-fitting lid. I have literally never been so scared in my life. I was crying at one point and wanted to run away screaming, but didn’t dare leave them alone in case they managed to get out! I figured a snake in a known location is better than a snake in an unknown location!

Whatever students choose, I find this is a really fun and low-pressure way to enjoy the spirit of the holiday without delving into the dark world of middle school romance!

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In the spirit of no drama, I love using this holiday to review the poetic elements and devices. The assignment asks students to include figurative language, imagery, alliteration and more in their poem. It’s a great way to reinforce all they’ve learned about poetry thus far in the year!

The best part? Zero teacher prep is required!

Creative Extension!

Additionally, if you wanted to take this activity a step further, you could have students make creative posters or signs on which they can write their poems. These are fun to display in the hallway or around the classroom. February can sometimes feel like a gray and dreary month and I think it helps everyone’s mental health to spruce it up with thoughts of love and gratitude and bright colors!

Did I mention this if free? Click the link below and I’ll send your resources straight to your inbox!

Claim your FREE Valentine’s Day Resource Here!

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