Hook the Reader

You never get a second chance to make a first impression!

Boy catches fish in record time

Why HOOK the reader?

A hook catches the readers interest, makes them want to keep reading and gives them an immediate sense of entertainment. Have you ever started a book and didn't finish it? Was it because it didn't hook you in? Have you ever begun to watch a movie that you didn't finish? Is it because it didn't hook you in the beginning? Give me some examples of books and/or movies that did or did not hook you?

LEADS.......Let's think and discuss.

When a friend calls you with news on the telephone, how much does he or she need to say before you know if they have good news or bad news? Let's discuss...

What might your friend say if he or she has good news?

Example: "Hey, guess what! You won't believe this!

What if your friend has bad news to share with you?

Example: "You might want to sit down for this."

Now, would you like to hear more from your friend?

So in just a few words, your friend has given you a hint that has made you want to hear more, right? This is exactly what you should do for your reader in the first few sentences of your writing.

Which LEAD makes you want to keep reading and why?

Lead 1: "Watch Out!" I wish I could have heard those words five seconds earlier - before the limb snapped - before I jumped - before the rock crumbled - before I slid 30 feet into the ravine.

Lead 2: I wish someone had warned me sooner. Then maybe I wouldn't have jumped when the limb snapped. And maybe I wouldn't have fallen down the ravine.

Which Lead makes you want to keep reading more and why?

Lead 1: There is so much to see in space. We have powerful reflecting telescopes all over the world. People can go to the planetariums and see some of the things that Galileo saw long ago, plus more.

Lead 2: Galileo lived a long time ago before fancy telescopes. But he looked into the space and saw the satellites of Jupiter. Today we can see so much more of our universe thanks to the wonderful telescopes in our planetariums.

Lead 3: If Galileo could see us now! Hundreds of thousands of people flock every year to planetariums around the world to view a universe that he first encountered with the satellites of Jupiter. Today, powerful reflecting telescopes help us examine celestial bodies that are millions of miles away.

Make your reader want to

Make them never want to stop reading!

Do I have a good LEAD?

  • Does the lead make you want to read on?
  • Can you describe the lead as dramatic, reflective, introductory or a "grabber"?
  • Can you tell what the piece might be about?
  • Does this lead have a clear voice that can be described?
  • Would you be interested in reading on?


In the Introduction Paragraph
NEVER. . .

bluntly announce the essay's intent ("In this essay I will...),

make unreasonable statements,
apologize for the material that is being written ("In my humble opinion..."),
go into a detailed account of the writing,
include random information that has nothing to do with the essay,

Hooking the Reader

Guided Practice Writing Hooks

Independent Practice Writing Hooks

Hook Worksheet Assignment - complete and submit to Schoology