Write a Lively Lead

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?
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
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
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
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
Introduces us to the
writer before the
Doesn’t even seem
like a nonfiction
piece at first.
Includes sensory
Has lots of accurate
Uses a question in
the second
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
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
3) Describe one way you could make your
current lead stronger.