The week before last, my classes began doing some 4squares about summer vacations. Last week we learned some strategies for good leads. The first day I did the song lesson, which the kids really enjoyed. This year the kids all sang along with Downtown; I think it was featured on a credit card commercial a few months ago.
The second day we focused on the snapshot lead. I gave some examples (including one I had found that day in a Smithsonian article) and had them try. The third day the students worked on incorporating their lead and other descriptive language in completing a first draft.
In the morning class, there's a boy who's pretty low-level but sweet (well, there are a few of those, actually), and his first attempt went, "My vacation to Florida was on an airplane. It was kind of scary." I said, "Blah! Boring!" Next time I came around I took a look to see what he had done. His new lead read, "Zoom! The plane took off with [a] speed. It was freezing in the plane. I was sitting three rows away and could hear my sister's teeth shiver."
I exclaimed in bursts of surprised sentence fragments. "Oh my--!" "P, this is--!" "Wow, this is so--" "This is a million billion times--!" "Wow!"
I got the class's attention (although frankly, after all that exclaiming, most of the class was already looking at me) and read them both versions. They were also very impressed and clapped for him.
I was so happy and so proud!
The same thing happened in my midmorning class. Yay!