Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Lead Me On - Writing Lively Leads for Book Reviews

Michelle Gowan
Liberty County Schools


Using the concepts found in a PowerPoint presentation, students learn to write leads for book reviews that attract readers and stimulate book interest.


The student determines the main idea or essential message in a text and identifies relevant details and facts and patterns of organization.


- Computer
- Television
- Linkage from Computer to television
- Power Point presentation (found in Associated File)
- Word processing program
- Writing materials


1. Prepare equipment for presentation.

2. Run Power Point presentation to assure it is working properly and that content is understood and ready to be presented.

3. Students should have read a book prior to this presentation and have knowledge of the setting, characters, and conflict or problem to be solved in the story.

4. The teacher and students should be familiar with the 6 Traits of Writing and the rubric for Content. The web site is noted within this lesson plan.


1. Ask students to listen to the following introduction to a book review: -My book is about this guy that goes walking in the woods and has a lot of stuff happen to him.-
Question what might be good and bad about the statement. Hopefully, students will realize that the lead is too vague which suggests the writer doesn't care about the writing or didn't really read or understand the book. Also, the writer doesn't use language that invites the reader to like anything about the book or -hook- the reader into reading the rest of the book review.

2. Share with students that the purpose for writing a lively lead in a book review is to gain the reader's interest into knowing more about the book.

3. Explain that the lesson will give students more infomation about writing a lead to include in their book reviews.

4. Instruct students to take notes during the presentation. As the presentation progresses, prompt students to write the main points including the main lead styles.

5. Present the Power Point presentation. (See Associated File)

6. At the end of the presentation students complete a practice activity in class. Ask for volunteers to share writing and point out positive aspects and suggestions for improvement for each.

7. The teacher shares the rubric for scoring leads with students. Relate the rubric to the sample activities used in Step #6.

8. Students are now ready to write a lead for their own book reviews. The teacher should prepare students that samples will be selected from the class papers to model in another session. The teacher determines whether the assignment should be completed as homework or in class.

9. Once leads are collected, the teacher will need time to review the papers and to write comments. Sample leads reflecting the different types of effective leads, as presented in the Power Point presentation, should be selected and entered onto a word processing program and prepared for class presentation. This could be completed during planning time or the teacher should prepare a class activity that would allow the required break.

10. During the next session the teacher shares with students that he/she has reviewed student papers and has selected samples to share with the class. The samples should be anonymous. The teacher points out the attributes of each sample modeled and should relate each back to one of the lead styles as listed in the Power Point presentation.

11. Return papers to students and instruct each to review the comments given. If revision is required, students are to work on those revisions and submit them along with the original version at an appointed time.


Students write a lead statement or statements for a book review that incorporates one of the strategies presented during the Power Point presentation. Students will be asked to revise leads as needed to meet proficiency. Minimum proficiency criteria includes that the student will earn a score of -3- or higher using the 6 Traits of Writing rubric for Content. Content will be determined by students' ability to paraphrase and summarize text to recall, inform, or organize ideas, and the involvement with the subject and ability to engage the reader.


Students should already be able to identify the setting, characters, and confict or main issue from a fictional story.
Students and teacher should be familiar with the 6 Traits of Writing and the rubric for the Content trait. The teacher might wish to review this again with students if there is concern about recalling this information to complete the assignment.

Web Links

Web supplement for Lead Me On - Writing Lively Leads for Book Reviews
Six Traits of Writing

Web supplement for Lead Me On - Writing Lively Leads for Book Reviews
Six Traits Writing Assessment

Web supplement for Lead Me On - Writing Lively Leads for Book Reviews

Web supplement for Lead Me On - Writing Lively Leads for Book Reviews
Six Traits of Writing

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