How Can I Use “Book Hooks” in the Classroom?

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HowCanIUseBookHooksintheClassroomA good “hook” to a book is one that can entice the reader to continue reading. A hook can be an intriguing line or statement comprising the key elements of the book.

Prepare in advance, the list of books (and its hooks) you intend to read aloud with your class. Your hooks should be such, that it has the power to attract your students and leave them wanting to know more about the book. Be dramatic in your reading of both the hook and the story, as the variation in intonation and volume can captivate the attention of your students.

Create hooks for a particular reading portion, using statements that best introduces the content. It should also be able to generate questions, discussions and critical thinking regarding the author, the nature of the plot and its theme.

At the end of the reading, initiate a discussion. The students can discuss regarding the relevance of the hook to the content read, whether the information obtained from the hook matches the content etc. Students can be encouraged to fill in gaps left by the hook, or modify the same to suit the content better. Include various reading strategies in your sessions to make the learning more effective.

Book hooks as an alternative for book reports:

Introduce and educate students on what classifies as a good hook and the key elements that contribute to a good hook. This can be done through presenting examples of good hooks or allowing students to rate a hook against a particular criterion (in terms of relevance, contents, interesting factor, significance etc).

Next, instruct them in the steps necessary to create a book hook. The first step is to ask students to write down all the key elements of the book. They can do this keeping in mind, an audience they would like to draw with the hook. Questions like “what is the central theme of the book, who is the main character, where and when does the story take place” can serve as cues for students to write their taglines. The hooks can also embody the emotions or sentiments characterized by the book.

After listing down the key elements, instruct students to formulate their drafts. Encourage and assist students in creating multiple drafts, playing with the words and content, brainstorming and re-writing until a good hook is formed. Students can initially attempt this in pairs and with practice, progress to writing them individually.

The hooks can be presented to the class and other pairs can rate the hook based on its ability to motivate them to read the book. Thus book hooks can serve as both a reading and writing strategy within the classroom

Discuss here: What are some creative ways you introduce a new book to your classroom?

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