Smack-Dab-in-the-Classroom by Dia Calhoun: The Excitement of New Beginnings

I remember how excited I was every September as the new school year dawned. There was the fun of back-to-school shopping with my mother. In those days, this meat a trip to downtown Seattle, not to a mall. It meant lunch out. It meant doing a fashion show for my dad that evening.

And of course September meant a new classroom and a new teacher. I always felt a sense of potential and possibility as I walked to school on the first day. I feel some of that same excitement now when I read the beginning of a new book.

For a fun reading exercise, have students choose three different book beginnings, a paragraph or page, that made them feel excited to read the book. Have them discuss why they found those beginnings compelling.

Then, for a writing exercise, have them write the beginning of their own story in three different ways. Share those with the rest of the class, and have the other students choose which beginning makes them want to continue reading and why.

And have fun.


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