Saturday, 16 March 2013

First lines: Free Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan: First Lines

for Year 8/9

Could be adapted for younger age groups

Groups, timing
A/V aids
5 minutes
In this hour we will
1. Focus on first lines 
2. Read aloud
3. Develop the Inner Critic
4. Do some creative writing

Aims projected overhead
     Reading first lines
5 minutes
Go round. Read these first lines aloud to the class with expression
[give example]
Handout: 12 first lines
[see below]
      Ready to write?
1 minute
Have you heard enough to write your own?

      Reading First lines
5 minutes
[if needed]
Continue go round
12 more first lines
      Write 3 first lines for a poem, story or novel
Individual, 5 minutes
Creative writing
Paper and pens
      More time
5 minutes

      Select the most powerful.
5 minutes
Look critically at the three lines and mark the most powerful one, the one that prompts you to write more

      Read your chosen first line to a partner.
In pairs, 5 minutes
  Talk about what you think of when you read your chosen first line

       Change over
In pairs, 5 minutes
 Listen carefully and discuss your partner’s first line.  It’s your chance to develop your Inner Critic.

      Creative writing
Individual, 10 minutes
Write your first line at the top of a page and do some free writing.  Try to write without stopping to think.

     Reading your work aloud
In pairs or a plenary, depending on confidence level of learners. 8 minutes
Share your writing with members of the group

1 minute
Well done, today you’ve done some creative writing and thought about first lines.

Sample: 12 First Lines
  1.  My name is Elizabeth but no one calls me that. 
  2. For the first time in his life Indigo Casson had been properly ill.
  3. I should be arrested for this.
  4. Paige Owen slapped a tarot card on the back seat of the bus.
  5.  I didn’t notice the men at first.
  6.  It hit me when I was power walking on the treadmill at home, watching a Friends re-run for about the ninetieth time.
  7.  You saw me before I saw you.
  8.  It’s the end of August, my last day on the island of Ailla.
  9.  “Honestly, Mrs Hadley,” said Mrs McGregor, wiping her eyes. “That sense of humour of yours will be the death of me yet.”
  10. I need you to hold it in your head, this picture of Sam Lopez when he arrived at my front door.
  11. Monday.  I came home after a crap day at school.
  12. The first thing you find when yer dog learns to talk is that dogs don’t got nothing much to say.

  1.        Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now
  2.         Hilary McKay, Indigo’s Star
  3.         Morris Gleitzman, Girl underground
  4.        Elen Caldicott, The Mystery of Caldicott Manor
  5.               Ruth Eastham, The Messenger Bird
  6.        Randa Abdel-Fattah, Does my Head Look Big in this?
  7.         Lucy Christopher, Stolen, a letter to my captor
  8.        Julia Green, Bringing the Summer
  9.         Malorie Blackman, Noughts and Crosses
  10.       Terence Blacker, Boy 2 Girl 
  11.            Maxine Linnell, Closer.
  12.       Patrick Ness, The Knife of never letting go

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