Saturday, February 06, 2021

Franki's Weekly Text Set--Informational Writing: Strong Introductions

 This week, I started a new Instagram account (@TextSets). Each week, I'll share a set of 5 books (one each day) that go together in some way and can be used for literacy learning.  This week, I shared 5 informational books that had strong introductions that young writers could learn from.

I think it's important that young writers study strong text, name what they see and give things a try. These five books can help writers pay closer attention to strong introductions and invite them to try something new when drafting or revising.

If you'd like a downloadable version of this list, you can find it here

The books in this list are either nonfiction or based on a true story--so they share information in some way.  They are on a variety of topics and use a variety of strategies to engage readers right away. Each book brings some unique craft to the conversation but there are also things that several writers in the text set do (set of 3, strong word choice, etc.).  This text set is designed to give young writers five or more new things to notice and try when studying introductions.

All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys' Soccer Team is an award-winning nonfiction book that has so much to teach young writers. Author, Christina Soontornvat sets the scene on the first page of this book in a way that puts readers right on the soccer field as she introduces us to the story and to Thailand simultaneously.

Young writers will love trying out an introduction like the one in Swish: the Slam-Dunking, Alley-Ooping, High-Flying Harlem Globetrotters by Suzanne Slade. The "It all started with..." is something everyone can have fun with. Listing in threes is a strategy this writer uses effectively twice in this short introduction. Writers may also use this introduction to learn to play with the rhythm of their words or onomatopoeia as part of their writing.

Sound: Shhh...Bang...POP...BOOM! by Romana Romanyshyn is a fun book that shares a great deal of information.  The contrast the first sentence of this book sets up is brilliant. The white space on the page can help writers actually see the contrast and how it works to engage readers. This sentence sets the stage for what is to come in the book in an engaging way. This book can invite writers to play with a strong one sentence introduction in which a contrasting idea engages readers with the topic. 

The Cat Man of Aleppo by Irene Latham and Karim-Shamsi-Basha is based on a true story and writers can learn so much from it.  Even though it isn't a nonfiction text, writers of nonfiction can learn so much from this lead. In the first few sentences of this book, the author shares all of the things to love about Aleppo. By using this repeated language, the reader is able to get to know the setting quickly Writers may want to try to set the scenes for their informational writing.

Adelita: A Sea Turtle's Journey by Jenny Goebel is another well crafted informational book. This book gives writers a perfect mentor for using strong adjectives and adverbs effectively.  The author chooses words carefully to give readers a powerful image while sharing important information.  

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