Author Topic: Analyzing Chapter Beginnings and Endings in Harry Potter for Creative Writing  (Read 916 times)

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Offline ELatham

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For classes with some time to cover more creative-writing-focused topics, I thought it could be helpful to teach students different ways that they can keep their reader's attention, so I went through Sorcerer's Stone and pulled out all the chapter beginnings and endings, and looked for trends.

I came up with 5 trends for beginnings and 5 trends for endings, which are outlined in this doc with examples from the book:

To teach this, you can give students a list of all the chapter beginnings/endings and have them re-construct the categories on their own, then discuss why these strategies work.

Then, you can have them practice these strategies, either by re-writing the beginning/ending of a particular chapter in a couple different ways using different strategies, or by writing their own stories/fanfictions using these strategies.

For a bit of peer review, you can distribute students' beginnings and endings anonymously and have students rate each other's beginnings and endings based on how likely they would be to continue reading. Students could also reflect on how they would improve their own beginnings/endings after seeing what their classmates did.

Other Resources:
This blog post talks more about chapter hooks, connects the idea to movie trailers (which could be a fun tie-in to the Harry Potter movies), and provides several links at the end of the post about writing chapter endings:

And here's Scholastic's take on teaching beginnings and endings in writing:
« Last Edit: April 13, 2018, 03:31:06 PM by ELatham »