Write a Lively Lead You Never Get a Second Chance for a “1st Impression” Who can remind us what a “lead” in your story is? Think! ON YOUR OWN: Take 1 minute and think about the lead you have written for your story. Do you think your current “lead” has room for any improvement? Study Buddy Take 1 minute to talk with your study buddy. Ask each other if your current lead has room for improvement. When you write a story, think of your reader as a new kid you have invited to your birthday party. Since this kid is new in school, she doesn’t know many people. She rings the doorbell feeling nervous and shy. You should smile and take her coat. Show her the snacks and food. Introduce her to other kids. You’ve got to take her by the hand, so to speak, and make her feel welcome. The same is true when you begin a story. View your readers as the new kids at school . When they ring your doorbell and step inside, you’ve got to take them by the hand and show them around. Otherwise they may get confused and disoriented. A lead is the beginning of a piece of writing. The purpose of a lead is to set the mood, or tone for the writing. A strong lead engages us as readers, draws us in, makes us want to continue reading. Let’s look at “Dolphin Day,” a piece written by Stephanie, a 6th grader. What makes this a strong lead? Has a strong voiceit sounds like someone talking to us. Introduces us to the writer before the subject. Doesn’t even seem like a nonfiction piece at first. Includes sensory details. Has lots of accurate information. Uses a question in the second paragraph. We’re going to be looking at different kinds of leads this year. This is just one, but it’s worth looking at, and learning from. Today I want you to think about your lead, both when you write and when you reread what you’ve written. Write the kind of lead that sounds like you and that will grab the reader’s attention. Study Buddy Questions Does your lead sound like you? Does your lead draw the reader into your story? What could you do to make your lead stronger and more interesting? Today’s Quiz: 1) What is a “lead”? 2) Why is it important to have a strong lead? 3) Describe one way you could make your current lead stronger.