Narrative Essay-Small Moments
Writing Strong Openings
Leads, Hooks,
Attention Grabbing Openers (AGOs)
Why do we have to do this?
Effective and dramatic openers are designed to grab a
reader’s attention…like a hook grabs a fish.
Hook, Lead or Attention
Grabbing Opener (AGO)
 A hook, lead or AGO is the part of your story that
compels or forces an audience to sit up and pay
 It should come at the beginning of your story where it
will get your reader on the hook!
(symbolically, of
 It will impress your audience so that they want to keep
We see hooks in
movies and TV all the time
Which Lead, AGO or hook is
better? Why?
 "We're going to go on a dive into the deep blue sea.”
 "I study ants . . . in the desert, in the tropical forest, in
my kitchen, and in the hills around Silicon Valley, where
I live.”
Apply & Discuss:
What was the Hook for your
independent reading book?
 What did the author include to get your attention?
Does it have dialogue?
Is it funny?
Does it have figurative language?
Does it make you ask questions?
Which one of yours do you
like best?
Here are some other possible
Hook AGO ideas for you:
 Ask a thought provoking question.
 Words from the Wiser. Use your theme
in the form of a cliché or idiom.
 State a well known quotation.
 Foreshadowing-give readers a hint at
what is coming up.
Here are some other possible
Lead/Hook/AGO ideas for you:
 Name Dropping. Use an allusion that your
audience will be familiar with that works well
with your story.
 Show, don’t tell.
As I stepped onto the dark stage, my sweaty
hands trembled and my pulse was racing.
 Magic 3-Triples
As I looked into her beautiful green eyes, I
thought to myself, “What if my hair is
up? What if there is something in my
What if I say something stupid?”
Here are some other possible
Lead/Hook/AGO ideas for you:
 Joke-Start off with something funny.
 Onomatopoeia
 Metaphor or Simile to describe the
theme or the setting.
 Dialogue-start with an engaging
 List it.
Here are some more
Lead/Hook/AGO examples for
Now pick one and try it out.
Think Pair Share
 Share your Hooks with your partner.
 Give each other some great
feedback on which is most effective.
Drafting Focus Points:
 Main Trait Focus =
Figurative language,
Literary & Narrative Elements,
 Support Traits Focus:
Voice & Conventions
Idea Development
Sentence Fluency
Your objective: I will create a small moments personal
narrative that entertains using vivid description and
elements of a story.
 Personal Narrative: Small Moment
 Purpose for Writing: To Entertain
 Goal: Tell a true story using descriptive writing that
that includes narrative elements to entertain your