Teaching Kids to Write Fantastic Hooks When it comes to teaching kids writing, one of the most important strategies to teach is how to write a hook. The hook is the very first sentence in the essay, and a good one creates a lasting impression with the reader. One mistake I see kids frequently making is writing general statements for a hook such as: Hello, my name is _____________and today I am going to write about… Volunteering after school is an important part of learning responsibility… The biggest mistake is the teacher neglecting to correct this error. In my writing program, TeachUS”Write,” there are 8 types of hooks for writing an essay: 8 TYPES OF HOOKS Question When writing a question, try to create a picture in the reader’s mind. Use the words who, what, when, where, why, is, how, or are at the beginning of the sentence. Quote When writing a quote, it can be a direct quotation from a book, TV show, movie, or a famous person. Onomatopoeia Onomatopoeia is a word that makes sounds. Those can be animal sounds, car sounds, or any other sound. Examples include: Bang! Woof! or Cock-a-doodle-doo! Poem Use a poem from a famous author, or make up your own. Song Use a line or two from your favorite song on the radio. Make sure you relate it to your essay. Interjection Interjections express emotions. Examples are Aha!, Stop!, Ugh!, Help!, Well!, YOW!, Brrrr!, Yummy! Startling Statistic Statistics show relationships with numbers. Find a surprising statistic involving your topic. Dialogue Dialogue features two or more people talking. Here is an example of 8 different hooks which could be used for writing an expository essay about my favorite television show, Spongebob Squarepants: QUESTION • Where in the Pacific Ocean can you find a delicious Krabby Patty to eat, live in a pineapple, and drive in an underwater boat? Bikini Bottom, of course! QUOTE • "Do you smell that? That smell--It's the smell of a smelly smell that smells smelly," stated Spongebob from the show Spongebob Squarepants. ONOMATOPOEIA • "Meooowww!" said Gary, Spongebob's pet snail. POEM • Roses are red, violets are blue. I love Spongebob Squarepants, do you? SONG • "Are ya ready kids? Aye, aye, Captain. I can't hear you! Aye, aye Captain. Ohhhh!" My favorite TV show started to play on Nickelodeon. INTERJECTION • "Noooo!" Don't touch the TV, I am watching my favorite show, Spongebob Squarepants. STARTLING STATISTIC • Over 1 million adults and children worldwide tune in to watch the TV show, Spongebob Squarepants on a weekly basis DIALOGUE • "There's nothing wrong with getting kissys from your grandmother," said Spongebob. "No, especially if you're a big baby who wears diapers!" responded Fish. WHY USE POP CULTURE TO TEACH KIDS HOW TO WRITE EFFECTIVELY? Students only learn when a connection is made. I use pop culture to grab the students’ attention and help them understand complex concepts. I survey my students at the beginning of the school year and begin to use these interests to design my lesson plans. When instructing children on writing hooks, focus on one or two types of hooks every day. Do not overwhelm them with too many writing tasks, either. I would suggest writing an essay together, focusing one detail at a time. It is the most effective way to teach kids how to write.