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Copy of Sizzling Starts

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Amy Hannah

on 15 July 2014

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Transcript of Copy of Sizzling Starts

Sizzling Starts
First Impressions Count
"The bus and its passengers were never found.
It was the first of the Time Tornadoes."

"When the doorbell rings at three in the morning, it's never good news."
4 People+ 10 Minutes = Recount
Nominate who will be Person 1, 2, 3 or 4.
Person 1
You are in charge of the fruit and vegetables.
For example:
old squishy bananas
old tomatoes

Bananas squished into shoes/ grapes fired with rulers across the room, etc, etc

Three Word Challenge
e.g. soup, racing, invisible

The last thing he ate was
, three days ago. The note in front of him asked for food. Yet the man
down the street with the expensive Rolex on his wrist, didn't even see him.
When you are poor and need help, you are
Your turn...
Get into pairs - each person has a piece of paper.

On this piece of paper write 3 words. (Like the example)

Swap with your partner. You have two minutes to write a Sizzling Starter using those three words.
It doesn't matter what you are arguing - just be persuasive!
The randomness of the words gets kids thinking outside of the box - creatively.
What's the point of that activity?
Start with the ACTION!!
Persuasive Writing
When writing, kids always want to start their
stories at the beginning of the day, or the start
of the week or even the first day of the school


I leapt out of bed that morning and hurried to get
dressed because today Dad was taking us to the
zoo. I was really excited because they have this big
monkey enclosure there and I was mad about
monkeys. I also needed to get some really good
photos for my Science project.


“Here,” I told my sister, “hold my rucksack. I'm just
going to get a bit closer to the monkey's cage.” A
bit closer meant over the fence, past the sign that
said 'No Entry' and right up to the wire. “You're
monkey mad,” said my sister. Well, maybe I was.
But I was also desperate for an 'A' in my latest
Science project. A picture of a cute monkey,
smiling right at the camera, would make all the
difference, right?

Start at the 'Moment of Change', right where the action begins. In the first example, the writer starts the story at the beginning of the day, yet the action really takes place at the zoo. So begin the story at the zoo - as the person walks right up to the monkey's cage, camera in hand, shining earrings swinging in the sun, just waiting to be grabbed by a quick sharp paw.

But how to explain why you are there? Easy - use the 'backfill' technique. Fill in the basics of 'who, what and why' as the rest of the action unfolds. This makes it much faster and far more interesting writing!
3 Ways to start...


Let me tell you about the heater, the ice-cream and the scream.

Start with a


Splat! The Vegemite sandwich slammed into Mr Brown's Smartboard.

Start with


“Hi Miss Gutjahr” I say as I walk into class. She doesn’t reply. I guess she didn’t hear me.

“Hey Corey” I say as I see my friend. He does not answer. This is weird.

I sit in-between Corey and Jonte. Corey looks at me and says “Hi Jonte.”

“I’m not Jonte” I say defensively.

But Corey wasn’t looking at me. He was looking through me.

Ideas for implementing & teaching Sizzling Starts at MHPS

Create an anchor chart for classroom ('Walls that Teach')
Do it every day for at least 4 weeks
Pick a favourite every Friday and add to it
SWIM (Silent Writing in the Morning)
3 word activity- students choose 3 words for partner and they need to write a sizzling start e.g. banana, esky, hurrying
Sizzling start competition - newsletter?
Mentor texts- show the kids that 'real authors' use 'sizzling starts'
Movie search- research and find a movie with a sizzling start

What about persuasive texts?


I think cats are better than dogs because A), B), C)

They slobber on your best
outfit, they bark all night
and their breath smells
exactly like meat left out in
the sun for a week. Dogs as
pets, I don’t get it. Give me
a cat quiet and curled up
on my knee, purrrrlease.

Seven Steps to Writing Success

Step 1: Plan for Success

Step 2: Sizzling Starts

Step 3: Tightening Tension

Step 4: Dynamic Dialogue

Step 5: Show, don’t tell

Step 6: Ban the Boring Bits

Step 7: Exciting Endings

Start with
-sound or

Write a sizzling start on
" First day back..."
Full transcript