Hooking you in

When you pick up a new book to read, the first couple of pages are often the make or break - will the beginning pull you in enough to keep reading? Or do they turn you off going any further? A good book hooks the reader in and authors use a number of different tricks to pull you into their story.

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The Te Mihi literacy group has been focusing on creating an introduction to do just that. An introduction should introduce the main characters, the setting, and the time. It is very easy to write a boring introduction to do this. This often involves recrafting writing once students think they have finished.

Last Monday at Eden Park…”

Was reworked to:

“Yes!” Yelled Sam Cane after he scored a try. In the excitement he ran over and hugged a police officer that was standing guard…” Luke

Last night there was a very bad accident in the hospital so tonight Sergeant John had to investigate the hospital searching for victims…

was reworked to:

Bang! A single loud bang echoed around the otherwise dark and silent hospital grounds. Not long after the silence was shattered, Sergeant John received a phone call. Dali

One dark, gloomy night there was a rugby game - but not just any rugby game - it was the World Cup final… 

was reworked to:

“Weerrrp” the ref blew his whistle to signal ten minutes until the game starts - but it wasn’t just any game - it was the Rugby World Cup final. Kian

Lennon reread and re crafted his writing more than once - working to include specific vocabulary to grab the attention of the reader. 

In an old fashioned theatre, a movie stopped halfway through the film as a gunshot was fired.

“It made it better I used more describing words and I really thought about different words I could use - movie and film” Lennon

“Starting with a hook means that people wonder what is going to happen and so they keep reading. I started with a commentator of a rugby game. I thought this would be a good hook because I got straight into the story.

“And the crowd goes wild - ooh, ow, that must of hurt! Jordie Barret is down but what a run! It looks like he’s going to be out in hospital for a while”... Jake

Language choices play an important role in hooking the reader. Making deliberate language choices and varying sentence lengths and starters keeps the readers on their toes, while painting a very clear picture in their mind.

“The woods were quiet and desolet” says the voice. “Until they came” Booms the voice. 

Fire was everywhere, clouding my vision. Coughing and blood - oh so much blood… Louie

BOOM! CRACKLE! SMASH! Wood and soot came flying out of the museum. Phil came out of the wreckage scarred and bloody. He was lucky that his astronaut suit mostly protected him from the crash landing. Carys

2024 Foley

Jenna Foley

My journey in education has taken me down many different paths including teaching in an Area school, urban English and Welsh schools, small semi-rural schools and in a purpose built Innovative Learning Environment.

Teaching at Wairakei Primary School allows me to use so many of the skills I gained in these different settings - as well as acquiring so many more. I consider myself a life-long learner and continuously strive to build on my knowledge of teaching and education in order to create the best possible outcomes for students.

In my spare time I enjoy playing netball, reading, getting out and about with my two children and making the most of what this area has to offer.


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