Skip to content

Writing: A Lesson Plan on Beginnings

by Barbara Strobel

Grades: 3-5

Duration: 1 – 2 writing periods



  • To introduce different types of beginnings to students
  • For students to write different beginnings
  • Engage students in the process of revision


Materials needed:

  • Spooky South by
  • Overheads of the first page of the following stories
      1. Hold Him, Tabb 2. The Wampus Cat 3. Wiley and the Hairy Man
  • Students in progress writing piece


Teacher Prep:

  • Read the three stories mentioned above from Spooky South
  • Make an overhead of the first page of each story




Talk to the students about the importance of a good beginning: To hook the reader at the beginning of the story. There are many ways to this but you will discuss 3 with your students.

  • Dialogue between characters in the story: When two characters are having a conversation to start the story
  • Action: The action will be exciting and grab the readers attention
  • Introducing the main character: Letting the reader know who the main character is.

Write these on the board as you discuss them with the students.



  • Put up one overhead and read the first paragraph to the class.
  • Have the students identify which type of beginning they think it is.
  • Go through the remaining two using the same method.


Hold Him, Tabb – dialogue
The Wampus Cat – Action
Wiley and the Hairy Man – Introducing the character


Try it:


Now that students have been introduced to different types of beginnings they can try it.

  • Students choose a writing piece that they are working on to change the beginning.
  • They rewrite their beginning using one of the 3 ways you discussed. If they already used one when they wrote the story they can still rewrite it using another type of beginning.
  • When they are finished they have 2 beginnings to chose from, the original and the new one.



  • Bring the class back together and have a few students share their new beginnings.
  • Have the other students identify which one was used.
  • Ask the students as they share if they are going to use their new beginning or stick with the original beginning.


End Note:


If you have a copy of Spooky South that your students can borrow you should put it out so they can read the rest of the stories. If not you may want to revisit the stories so they can find out what happens.


S.E. Schlosser

S.E. Schlosser

S.E. Schlosser is the author of the Spooky Series published by Globe Pequot Press. She has been telling stories since she was a child, when games of “let’s pretend” quickly built themselves into full-length tales acted out with friends. A graduate of both Houghton College and the Institute of Children’s Literature, Sandy received her MLS from Rutgers University while working as a full-time music teacher and a freelance author.