Lesson 7
Take Action - Writing Persuasively

Revising Introductions


After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Revise their commentaries for craft in a lead


Students revise the leads in their commentaries.


(This lesson can be replicated as revising for endings and revising for powerful paragraphs)

Guiding Questions:

  • How can revising our leads help strengthen our writing?

Recommended Time:

90 minutes

Common Core State Standards:




Commentary packet that contains the following:

  1. Reading/Research: Writing Commentaries Handout
  2. Copies of the following commentaries and/or appropriate substitutes:

“Starve, Get Aid, Repeat”  by Craig and Marc Kielburger
“Put Your Money Where Your Mouths Are”  by Nick Kristof
“Kyleigh’s Law’ is not the Answer for Connecticut’s Young Drivers”  by Brian Koonz

Drafts of commentary.


Technology Required:



Lesson Design:

  • Explain to students that commentary leads, like all leads, must hook the reader.
  • Using the model texts from the Commentary Packet and any other examples you have used with students, show examples of various kinds of leads.
  • Some ways commentaries begin:

* A direct statement:

“Fashion is easy to copy: Counterfeiters buy the real item, take them apart, scan the pieces to make patterns, and produce almost perfect imitations.”
The Real Cost of Fake Goods

* An anecdote:

“Kyleigh D’Alessio never met 16-year-old John Clapper, the teenager Connecticut State Police say was the driver in Tuesday’s car accident in Griswold that killed four teenagers and critically injured a fifth.”

‘Kyleigh’s Law’ is not the Answer for Connecticut’s Young Drivers

* A statement that raised questions:

“With Democrats on the warpath over trade, there’s pressure for tougher international labor standards that would try to put Abakr Adoud out of work.”

Put Your Money Where Their Mouths Are

* A quote or reference to a quote

“Albert Einstein once said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Starve, Get Aid, Repeat

  • Consider modeling how to write various kinds of leads for students.
  • Students write at least three possible leads for their commentaries.
  • After composing the leads, students consult with a partner, determining which leads provide the best “hook” and revise their commentaries accordingly.