Writing Strong Leads

Teaching kids to write strong beginnings to their personal narratives has always been challenging.  And then I found this Uh-mazing anchor chart on Pinterest:

Turns out it is from one of my favorite blogs!  Stephanie at Third Grade Thoughts wrote about using her chart here.  She wrote about it way back in March before I started following her.  Thank you for posting exactly what I needed 7 months before I even needed it!

I made my own copycat anchor chart.

The first day I introduced the strategies, modeled with the story I had written in class recently, and then sent them off to practice three with the story they had just finished.

The next day, we had a little fun with it.  They got with a partner and wrote three leads for this small moment story:

You are standing in line about to get on a 

GIGANTIC roller coaster.

Here are some of my favorites:
•The screams of the riders on the roller coaster filled my ears.
•Screams filled the air.  Suddenly, I was not so sure I wanted to get on the roller coaster.
•Trembling with fear, I'm standing in line and hear the man say, "Next up." 

and my very favorite (from one of my reluctant writers, no less!)
•"Step right up! This is the best and scariest ride you've ever been on!" shouted the announcer.  

Now our anchor chart is in a place of honor and I can expect a great lead for all of our personal narrative from here on out!

Big thanks, Stephanie!