Good Opening Sentences For Essays 6th Grade

How to Write an Introduction

As the saying goes, there’s just one chance to make a first impression. For writers, that chance is in the introduction of an essay or text. If a writer can interest and engage a reader immediately, the writer has made a good first impression. Our worksheets on writing an engaging and interesting essay introduction are below. Simple click on the title to view more about the worksheet or to download a PDF. They are free for home or classroom use. Check out all of our writing worksheets!

Introducing a Topic: Giving Information

How do you name a pet or describe a good book at the library? In this activity, students introduce different topics based on prompts.

Grade Levels:
2nd and 3rd Grade, Grades K-12, Kindergarten & 1st Grade
CCSS Code(s):
W.1.2, W.2.2, W.3.2.A

Introducing a Topic: Opinion Writing

Students, especially beginning writers, sometimes have trouble getting started. This activity helps them learn how to introduce topics.

Grade Levels:
2nd and 3rd Grade, Grades K-12, Kindergarten & 1st Grade
CCSS Code(s):
W.1.1, W.2.1, W.3.1.A

Introducing a Topic: Telling a Story

This activity helps students learn how to clearly introduce a topic in a story they are telling. In this activity, students will write the setting of the story.

Grade Levels:
2nd and 3rd Grade, Grades K-12, Kindergarten & 1st Grade
CCSS Code(s):
W.1.3, W.2.3, W.3.3.A

How to Write a Thesis Statement

This activity helps students develop a strong thesis statement for their essays by providing practice writing sample statements.

Grade Levels:
6th - 8th Grade, 9th - 12th Grade, Grades K-12
CCSS Code(s):
W.6.1, W.7.1, W.8.1, W.9-10.1, W.11-12.1

How to Write an Introduction: Bridge Building Activity

This activity is designed to help students learn about writing introductions through a fun bridge building activity to join the lead noun card and thesis statement card.

Grade Levels:
6th - 8th Grade, 9th - 12th Grade, Grades K-12
CCSS Code(s):
W.6.1, W.7.1, W.8.1, W.9-10.1, W.11-12.1

How to Write an Introduction: Different Leads

This is a fun, creative activity where students explore ways to include factoids, stories, metaphors and more to create “hooks”. A great activity to help students develop strong introductions.

Grade Levels:
6th - 8th Grade, 9th - 12th Grade, Grades K-12
CCSS Code(s):
W.6.1, W.7.1, W.8.1, W.9-10.1

How to Write an Introduction: Lead Types

Creating an attention-grabbing lead isn’t always easy but it’s very rewarding to students when they are able to create engaging introductions. This activity provides great practice to build better introductions!

Grade Levels:
6th - 8th Grade, 9th - 12th Grade, Grades K-12
CCSS Code(s):
W.6.1, W.7.1, W.8.1, W.9-10.1

How to Write an Introduction: Lead, Bridge, and Thesis

Let’s combine it all! This activity helps students use thesis statements, bridges and leads to write strong essay introductions.

Grade Levels:
6th - 8th Grade, 9th - 12th Grade, Grades K-12
CCSS Code(s):
W.6.1, W.7.1, W.8.1, W.9-10.1

How to Write an Introduction: Write a Complete Introduction

This activity helps students bring together what they’ve learned to write a complete introduction, including the lead, bridge, and thesis statement.

Grade Levels:
6th - 8th Grade, 9th - 12th Grade, Grades K-12
CCSS Code(s):
W.6.1, W.7.1, W.8.1, W.9-10.1

Dead Fish Handshakes are a huge pet peeve of mine. You offer your hand in greeting and the other person returns a grip that is downright soggy, their hand flopping in yours like a lifeless cod. It’s not a huge offense in the grand scheme of things, but it also seems like such an easy thing to avoid. Just get a grip, people. Of course, pedestrian, soulless introductory paragraphs are much more difficult to avoid. Teachers of writing will instantly recognize these “dead fish” beginnings. We are all too familiar with them. I have, however, had considerable success using the following strategy to help students write more lively, effective introductory paragraphs.

I use a fairly common symbol to articulate the role of an introductory paragraph. This handout is probably something you have seen before, an inverted triangle (or funnel) that reminds students to begin broadly with a HOOK, narrow the focus of the essay with a few sentences that act as a BRIDGE, and then end the paragraph with a clear THESIS. Of course, this is not the only way to write an effective introduction, but it is an excellent model for most situations, especially for young writers.

(Yes, old writers can benefit from it too. You are a clever little monkey and have figured out that the introductory paragraph to this post follows the same format. Well done.)

I find that the portion of this model that flummoxes students the most is the BRIDGE. Beginning writers often need considerable practice to smoothly transition from one idea to the next. I try, then, to give my students more chances to work out this middle part.

The Steps

(Takes 2-4 one hour class periods, depending on the students’ age and skills.)

  1. I fill one bowl with slips of paper that have random NOUNS on them. (I actually add to the same bowl I use earlier in the year during The Metaphor Game.)

  2. I fill another bowl with predetermined thesis statements. (Use the ones at the end of the Effective Introduction handout or make your own.)

  3. After a quick conversation about the purpose of introductory paragraphs, I ask my students if they would like to see a magic trick. I then randomly pull a NOUN and a THESIS from the two bowls, and after a moment to gather my thoughts, I orally compose a sample introduction, on the spot. I do this trick a couple times with a new noun and thesis each time to show that, with practice, anyone can get pretty good at connecting two random topics.

  4. Students then find a partner and each student pulls a random NOUN and a random THESIS. They then practice creating sample introductions, speaking their paragraphs to one another. I circulate and give feedback and encouragement.

  5. After they have practiced in pairs, I ask a few students to share their sample introductions with the class. If nobody volunteers, we move on.

  6. Next, students review the Effective Introduction Handout. We review the three parts of an introduction (hook, bridge, thesis) and the list of hook strategies on the back of the sheet.

  7. After our review, I give students sample introductions, and in the same pairs as before, they read the introductions, labeling the hook strategy and identifying the three parts.

  8. We discuss these sample introductions, identifying the components and hook strategies.

  9. Students then pull another random noun and thesis, and write a sample introduction (either in class or as homework).

  10. With each new writing assignment, I refer back to these exercises, reinforcing concepts when necessary. Many students often request to pull a random noun as a way to kickstart their writing, too.

When using this strategy, it is very important to avoid spoon feeding the connection (a.k.a. the “bridge”). Practice with this sort of connection making is what students need, so the more chances we can give them to work out their own mental paths, in low-stress situations, the more likely it becomes that they can write original introductions on their own. Students certainly don’t find this work easy; one of my grade six students recently asked me, “Would you feel my forehead? My brain is overheating.” Yet, whether we are asking beginning writers or more experienced writers to complete such work, we are helping them develop a skill that makes writing entertaining and memorable–the ability to organize information in new, surprising, and playful ways.

Effective Introductions Handout Grade 6 Version

Effective Introductions Handout Grades 9-12 Version

Even more sample introductions from high school writers

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