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Ben and Jerry's Web Site: Lesson 4: Writing the Introduction
Ben & Jerry's Website:  A Cool Way to Reinforce Language Arts Skills and Work Toward Computer Proficiency by Julie Vitulano, New York City Public Schools.

Lesson 5 >>

Lesson Four: Writing The Introduction

Aim: How can we write an interesting introduction to our report?

Materials: Computers with word processing programs

Instructional Objectives: Students will understand the importance of an interesting introduction; students will recognize the effect of poor penmanship on the reader of their work; students will write a draft of their essays.

Do Now: Using an overhead projector, the teacher displays two examples of written work. One is well-written and shows excellent penmanship; the other is also well-written but the penmanship is almost illegible.

The teacher asks the students to read both and write comments in their notebooks. The students are also asked to give a grade to each of the two written pieces.

Motivation: Teacher asks the students to read the introductory paragraph to 
Ben & Jerry's National Balloon Tour promotion.

Ever feel like the world is moo-ving just a little too fast? We do, so this summer we're giving the planet a break with a 90-foot high ice cream cone! We're taking our balloon from coast to coast. As we go we'll be conducting "work stoppages", practicing random acts of kindness, and creating peaceful Urban Pastures where you can leave the human race behind for a free scoop, great music and games, and even a good deed or two. Summer was made for slowing down and savoring all the season's flavors. What better place to pause than in our pasture, a pint-sized piece of Vermont where life never exceeds the speed limit. So keep your eye on the sky. When you spy our giant cone overhead, you'll know it's time to stop & taste the ice cream at an Urban Pasture near you. And don't forget to enter our Stop, Taste & Win Sweepstakes! 

Then ask: What effect does the first sentence have on you?

Homework Review: Students take out their introductory paragraphs. The teacher asks them to change their first sentence or to write a different first sentence. A few students are asked to read their first and second versions of the opening sentence to the introductory paragraph. 

The teacher asks the students why it is important to try different openings for their reports.


  1. Teacher dictates the following types of opening sentences:

    1. Rhetorical question
    2. Quotation
    3. A personal anecdote
    4. A definition
    5. Song lyrics, jingle lyrics, children's rhyme
    6. Slogans
    7. A short, direct declarative sentence that invites further inquiry/reading
    8. A vividly descriptive sentence that strongly appeals to the senses
  2. Examples of each of these types of opening sentences are given (from various sources - newspapers, magazines, letters, essays, etc.) The students read them and identify which type is being used.
  3. The students are asked to rewrite their opening paragraph. They are reminded that standardized language arts exams are still handwritten, so they should try to make their penmanship clear and attractive. They are also to try to make their opening paragraph as interesting as possible.
Homework: Finish writing the draft of the report. Note: The types of opening sentences may also be used in the body of the composition to heighten reader interest, vary sentence structure, and give more attention to other parts of the report.

Lesson 5 >>


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