Before students begin writing informative essays, it is important to teach them the steps in the process. Writing hooks for informative writing is one of the skills that students must learn. Good luck! Students can write amazing hooks with just a little practice.
Writing Hooks for Informative Writing – Step #1
Begin by teaching students to look at some exemplary texts. Ask questions about how the essays begin. List different ways students find in the essays. Next provide students with a list they can use. Here are some ways they can hook a reader. The anchor chart is a great reference for students to refer to as they begin writing.
Unusual Detail – List a fact that is strange. This can be a common misconception.
Quote – Use a quote or saying from a well-known source that supports your ideas. You may also write a quote from a famous person or expert.
Simile or Metaphor – Using a commonly used simile or metaphor can help readers relate to your paper.
Question – Begin with who, what, when where, why, is, how, or are. Ask something that will make the reader wonder about the topic. This makes readers want to continue to read to find the answer.
Problem – State a problem that can be fixed under the situations you propose.
Statistic – Write a surprising statistic involving your topic.
After students recognize ways they can hook a reader, it is time to practice. Provide students with a list of details about a topic. These could represent facts that a student may have after completing research. Next, ask students to provide example hooks using each method based on these notes.
Writing Hooks for Informative Writing – Step #2
Here is an example list of facts using the Earth’s Moon. Notice the facts are written in sentence fragments to represent notes that students may actually have.
- only permanent natural satellite of Earth
- diameter about 2,159 miles
- takes 27.3 days to orbit Earth
- created when a rock named Theai hit Earth
- the fifth largest moon in the solar system
- one-sixth of the Earth’s gravity
- people on Earth always see the same side
- 50% larger than Pluto 30%
- smaller than Mercury
- one-fourth the size of Earth
- 12 people have walked on the moon
- in 1969 Neil Armstrong from Apollo 11 first to walk on the moon “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
- drifting away from Earth
- surface pitted from impacts
- surface covered with dust composed of silica (powder that cuts like glass)
- causes tides
- one day lasts 708 hours
- contains ice
- surface 127°C on the sunny side to -153°C on the shady side
Have students use the list to write a different hook using each of the six methods listed above.
Example Hooks from Moon Facts
Unusual Detail – The Moon was created when a rock named Theia hit Earth breaking off a piece.
Quote –“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Simile or Metaphor – I’m over the moon. I’m shooting for the moon.
Question – Did you know that the Moon is drifting away from planet Earth? At the rate it is moving a separation will take place in about 15 billion years; however, this will never happen as the Sun is expected to destroy Earth in about 5 billion years.
Problem – Living on the moon would be extremely difficult. First, it would be difficult to sleep with a day lasting for 708 hours. Second, lunar dust cuts like glass.
Statistic – Only 12 people have ever walked on the Moon.