What Makes a Hero?

Students, please write three (3) good paragraphs each beginning with a creative lead sentence. Put a double space between prompts to indicate a new paragraph…I do not want to read one huge block of text.

1. Reflect on something from BoatLift  that made an impression on you.

2. What is your definition of a hero? Think and give an example of someone who fits your description. (No family or friends)

3. From the quotes below, which one do you connect with? What does it mean to you? (Be sure to indicate which quote you have chosen.)

(A) A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer” (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

(B) Hard times don’t create heroes. It is during the hard times when the ‘hero’ within us is revealed” (Bob Riley).

(C) A  hero is someone who, in spite of weakness, doubt, or not always knowing the answers, goes ahead and overcomes anyway” (Christopher Reeve).


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Grab the Hook! Writing Great Lead Sentences ~ We Begin Discussions on The Hero

“Mickey Cray had been out of work ever since a dead iguana fell from a palm tree and hit him in the head” (Hiaasen Chomp). (What? How?)

“There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife” (Gaiman The Graveyard Book ). (Whose hand? Why?)

“Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number 4, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much” (J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone). (Meaning that possibly they were not very normal)

“He began his new life standing up, surrounded by cold darkness and stale, dusty air” (Dashner The Maze Runner). (Why? Where?)

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit” (J.R.R. Tolkien The Hobbit). (What’s a hobbit?)

A lead sentence grabs the reader and never lets go. It is the hook that makes the reader want to continue to read and turn that page to find out more.

Pretend you are writing a story about a hero who undertakes a dangerous quest. Write a lead sentence (first line of the first chapter) that will hook your reader into continuing on with the story. Yes, you can make up a hero’s name. Be creative, descriptive, and write something that would make you continue to read.

The purpose of this exercise is to get you familiar with writing great lead sentences, as this is a skill you will need to perfect as the year goes on. Readers need some introduction as to what they will be reading, and good lead sentences can provide these clues. A good lead sentence also makes the reader ask how? Why? What? When? Where?

School Begins Wednesday!

photoWelcome sixth graders to your class blog! Please take a look around and get a feel for what posting comments to a blog will be like. Understand that many of the videos you see on the first few pages were posted over the summer for our international audience and for those attending school during our summer break. While I may post videos for you to view, there will always be writing attached.

The most recent blog post is always the first post at the top, so you will need to scroll down the page to view other posts until you get to the bottom where you can go on to more pages via the arrow. To read comments, just click on the comment link under the post title. The word tags on the left hand side of the blog are actually links to seven years of student posting…so there may be something there that interests you.

Be prepared to tell me some things you learned that you didn’t know before.

Sixth grade English students will begin posting to the blog the week of September 1st. Check back then as we begin new conversations as we write out loud.