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Writing Effective Leads (plus my giveaway winners are announced)

Thanks so much to everyone who entered my giveaway this past week – I wish I had a prize for each of you. However, I could only choose two winners for this giveaway. And those winners are…

giveaway winners lessons from the middle photo

Lori has won the $100 gift card and Shannon has won the Macy’s gift card and my TPT Shopping Spree.

Thanks again everyone for participating!


This week just flew by for me – only one week left in September. Holy cow! This week in Language Arts, we were working on Making Connections to our reading and we starting with writing an effective lead. It occurred to me, as it does every year, that students really struggle with that opening sentence when beginning a piece of writing.

So, this year I tried something a little different – and it actually went really well. Instead of just having students write after discussing different ways they may want to begin their piece (a question, a simile, dialogue…etc) we went to the library. Students chose a book, read the lead and recorded those that they liked or didn’t like (along with the title). We then took all of these leads back to the classroom and discussed them. We talked about why they liked certain ones and which leads would cause them to put the book back.

This worked into a discussion on writing like a reader. They need a fantastic lead to their piece, because we make very quick judgments sometimes, about what we’re reading. They need to write a lead that would make them continue reading!


writing effective leads powerpoint lesson for language arts grades 6-9 from my teacherspayteachers storeI do have a Writing Effective Leads PowerPoint in my TeachersPayTeachers Store that walks students through this activity. The unexpected bonus of taking my grade sevens to the library and doing this activity, was that multiple students found books that they wanted to check out right away, because the lead was so captivating! It really helped to drive the point of an effective lead home!




For even more ideas (for writing fiction) – this is a book about beginnings.


How do you help your students begin a piece of writing?  

middle school lessons from the middle school blog canadian blog, middle school math photo


 ~PS: If you got the draft version of this post in your email, I apologize. My 2 year old hit “publish” as I was typing…Sorry!~