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And for starters

Dramatic start. Or lengthy descriptive introduction to entice the reader in. This is the dilemma that any writer faces when deciding on an opening sentence and one which we looked at closely during a recent reading workshop. We noticed that good writers varied the length of sentences to create different effects as well as varying the opening of sentences to create different emphasis.

We made a list of common ways to change the openings and tried using them ourselves. A simple game to reinforce this in the classroom would be to provide a simple sentence (Farid ate the ice-cream) and ask the children to vary the opening. Here are the ways we found to vary the openings of sentences:

Adverb: Greedily, Farid ate the ice-cream.

Connective: First of all, Farid ate the ice-cream.

Adjective: Poor Farid ate the ice-cream.

Preposition: By the river, Farid ate the ice-cream.

Bossy Verb: Eat the ice- cream, Farid!

Simile: As quick as a tick, Farid ate the ice-cream.

'Ing' clause: Hoping to please his friends, Farid ate the ice-cream.

'Ed' clause: Exhausted from the run, Farid ate the ice-cream.

One word: Saddened, Farid ate the ice-cream

Pie Corbett is a literacy consultant

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