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22 Mentor Texts for Teaching Hooks - imthatteacher.com

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22 Mentor Texts for Teaching Hooks
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The Hook: Techniques for Introducing an Essay
StatisticNarrativeQuestionStartling StatementExamples
ContextHumorDescriptionQuoteAnalogy/Comparison
Statistic
Taiwan has a toilet paper shortage. In one store, it took just 16 seconds for shoppers to empty a restocked pallet. Online at ET Mall, toilet paper sales have been ten times normal.“What you might not know about a toilet paper shortage” by Elaine Schwartz 3/1/18 https://econlife.com/2018/03/taiwans-toilet-paper-shortage/
Statistic
More than a quarter--26 percent--of American adultsadmit to not having read even part of a bookwithin the past year. That's according tostatisticscoming out of thePew Research Center.“Why Reading Books Should Be Your Priority, According to Science” by Christina Desmarais 3/15/18 https://www.inc.com/christina-desmarais/why-reading-books-should-be-your-priority-according-to-science.html
Narrative/Story
John H. Anderson Jr. had just turned 20 years old when he arrived in Vietnam on the last day of April in 1968. Like so many of the 500,000 Americans who served in Vietnam in 1968, he’d been drafted.The young soldier, who lived in Wellsville, Pa., arrived in Southeast Asia at a moment of peak violence. The communists had launched a May offensive, also known as mini-Tet. American generals were aggressively pushing a counteroffensive. May 1968 would turn out to be the bloodiest month of the bloodiest year for Americans in Vietnam.“The men killed on a single, bloody day in Vietnam, and the haunting wall that memorializes them” by Joel Achenbach 5/15/18https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/retropolis/wp/2018/05/25/the-men-killed-on-a-single-day-in-the-vietnam-war-and-the-haunting-wall-that-memorializes-them/
Narrative/Story (Mystery)
On June 7, 2011, a local businessman addressed a meeting of the Cupertino City Council. He had not been on the agenda, but his presence wasn’t a total surprise. Earlier in the year the man had expressed his intention to attend a meeting in order to propose a new series of buildings along the city’s northern border, but he hadn’t felt up to it at the time. He was, as all of them knew, in dire health.“Inside Apple’s Insanely Great (or Just Insane) New Mothership” bySteven Levy 5/16/17https://www.wired.com/2017/05/apple-park-new-silicon-valley-campus/
Question
There's a lot of talk these days about AI and automation and the role it will have in the future. New machines, smart devices, and AI technology are being added to a number of industries and already having a big impact. No one really knows for sure what will happen, but we can guess based off what has been shown in science fiction movies and books. In a lot of those examples, AI takes over and replaces humans. But should we really be scared about the future?“Should we really fear artificial intelligence?”by Jacob Morgan 1/26/18 https://www.inc.com/jacob-morgan/should-we-really-fear-artificial-intelligence.html
Question
Do we have the right to believe whatever we want to believe? This supposed right is often claimed as the last resort of the wilfully ignorant, the person who is cornered by evidence and mounting opinion: ‘I believe climate change is a hoax whatever anyone else says, and I have a right to believe it!’ Butisthere such a right?“You Don’t Have a Right To Believe Whatever You Want To” by Daniel DeNicola 5/14/18https://aeon.co/ideas/you-dont-have-a-right-to-believe-whatever-you-want-to
Startling Statement
Peter Volkmann, the police chief of the small upstate New York town of Chatham, has a radical strategy for policing the American opioid epidemic: He doesn't.“How One Small Town Ended Its Drug War” by Alastair Boon 4/5/18https://www.citylab.com/equity/2018/04/how-one-small-town-ended-its-drug-war/557321/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheAtlanticCities+%28CityLab%29
Startling Statement
When winter descends on Hong Kong, crowds fill small eateries in its cities. Some of these diners might have only a few tables, but all will have a large, wooden chest of drawers. Open one of those drawers and you may come face to face with a writhing snake—who may soon end up on your plate.“Snake Soup” by Tatiana Harkiolakishttps://www.atlasobscura.com/foods/snake-soup
Examples
In the last 16 years, parts of Louisiana have been struck by six hurricanes. Areas near San Diego were devastated by three particularly vicious wildfire seasons. And a town in eastern Kentucky has been pummeled by at least nine storms severe enough to warrant federal assistance.“The Places in the US Where Disaster Strikes Again and Again” By Sahil Chinoy 5/24/18https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/05/24/us/disasters-hurricanes-wildfires-storms.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=photo-spot-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news
Examples
You know the beautiful thing about hip hop? It’s that there are many different styles that serve different purposes. Some emcees use hip hop through the art of storytelling by painting a vivid picture or story through their lyrics. Others use lyrical content to convey a message. And then there’s the rap artists who just make music to have a good time. But even though there are several other different styles of art in hip hop, there is one art of hip hop that I feel its spark in the last ten or so years. That art is known asbattle rapping.“The Art of Battle Rap Might Be A Dying Breed, But Only If We Let It” by Derrick Watson 4/25/18 https://hypefreshmag.com/culture/the-art-of-battle-rap-might-be-a-dying-breed-but-only-if-we-let-it
Context
In 1961, As John F. Kennedy was inaugurated, Cold War tensions were running high, and the military had planes armed with nuclear weapons in the air constantly. These planes were supposed to be ready to respond to a nuclear attack at any moment. If the planes were already in the air, the thinking went, they would survive a nuclear bomb hitting the United States. But one of the closest calls came when an America B-52 bomber dropped two nuclear bombs on North Carolina.“The US once dropped two nuclear bombs on North Carolina by accident” by Sarah Laskow 4/26/18 https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/nuclear-bombs-dropped-on-north-carolina
Context
If plastic had been invented when the Pilgrims sailed from Plymouth, England, to North America—and theMayflowerhad been stocked with bottled water and plastic-wrapped snacks—their plastic trash would likely still be around, four centuries later.If the Pilgrims had been like many people today and simply tossed their empty bottles and wrappers over the side, Atlantic waves and sunlight would have worn all that plastic into tiny bits. And those bits might still be floating around the world’s oceans today, sponging up toxins to add to the ones already in them, waiting to be eaten by some hapless fish or oyster, and ultimately perhaps by one of us.(continued)
Context (continued)
We should give thanks that the Pilgrims didn’t have plastic, I thought recently as I rode a train to Plymouth along England’s south coast. I was on my way to see a man who would help me make sense of the whole mess we’ve made with plastic, especially in the ocean.We Made Plastic. We Depend On It. Now We’re Drowning In It.” by Laura Parker 6/2018 https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2018/06/plastic-planet-waste-pollution-trash-crisis/
Humor
They made children wear socks until they got good and smelly.Later on, they decapitated mosquitoes.Those were two steps in an ... unusual ... study to learn why female mosquitoes (males don't bite) are more likely to feed on people with malaria than non-infected people.“What you will learn when you put smell socks in front of mosquitos” by Rina Shaikh-Lesko4/17/18https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2018/04/17/601896991/what-you-learn-when-you-put-smelly-socks-in-front-of-mosquitoes
Humor
If you're one of those people who get too lazy to wash their make-up off at the end of the day, oh boy are you about to question your life choices.“Here’s what can happen if you always sleep with mascara on” by Signe Dean 6/4/18 https://www.sciencealert.com/mascara-make-up-remove-health-effects-dangerous-eyes
Description
Saturday morning. Silence, for the first time all week, in the Nova Care Complex offices of the Super Bowl Bowl champion Eagles in this hungover city. Two days ago, the parade happened. “The noise,” offensive coordinator Frank Reich said, smiling at the memory. “From the start of the parade, way down here, to the steps of the art museum, more than two hours, it sounded like a big play just happened in our stadium. The decibel level was that high; it hurt your ears. So we can use a quiet day.”Three men here were thankful for the serenity—coach Doug Pederson, Reich and wide receivers coach Mike Groh. Pederson particularly, sucking Halls cherry cough drops, looked like he couldn’t wait to disappear. (The Eagles are off this week.) On this morning, the three men gathered to surgically take apart one play, the play that six days earlier finished off the Patriots and gave the Eagles their first Super Bowl title in history.“Behind the Play That confused the Patriots and Gave the Eagles the Super Bowl LII Win” by Peter King 2/11/18https://www.si.com/nfl/2018/02/11/eagles-super-bowl-zach-ertz-touchdown-wristband-145-mmqb-peter-king
Description
“I have a poodle problem!” confesses the actress Kathryn Newton. We’re sitting on a bench overlooking Manhattan’s South Street Seaport, sipping Nespresso from dainty china demitasse cups. Newton points to her shoes: blindingly white Miu Miu sneakers, the uppers bedazzled with sparkly poodles. Then she shows me a photo on her phone of her actual poodle (Jack, one year old, adorable) and another photo of her ceramic-poodle collection (vast, slightly unnerving).“Big Little Lies Star Kathryn Newton is Taking Over Screens Big and Small” by Julia Felsenthal 5/18/18 https://www.vogue.com/article/kathryn-newton-big-little-lies-vogue-june-2018-issue
Description
The Tulelake Municipal Airport is a single runway and one small hangar—just over half a square mile in all. Flat land stretches around the airport for miles: Lush green farmland unfurls north toward the Oregon border—about 13 miles away—dotted with homesteads that tend to the surrounding land. Brown loamy soil yawns out to the east, and, 50 miles to the west, Mount Shasta's snowy capis just visible on a clear day.(continued)
Description (continued)
At just over 8,800 residents, Modoc County, which is home to the airport, is one of the most sparsely populated counties in the United States. But it wasn't always this way. The airport lies directly on top of the piece of land where nearly 30,000 people of Japanese ancestry, including American citizens, lived when they were unjustly incarcerated between 1942 and 1946, at the Tule Lake Segregation Center. In the years since, some have come to call it by what many scholars say is a more accurate name: the Tule Lake Concentration Camp.“How an airport fence has sparked a debate over honoring victims of Japanese internment” by Alstair Boone 6/5/18 https://psmag.com/social-justice/what-to-do-with-historically-significant-land
Quote
In mid-February, a mysterious 9-year-old by the name of Lil Tay began blowing up on Instagram.“This is a message to all y’all broke-*** haters, y’all ain't doing it like Lil Tay,” she shouts as she hops into a red Mercedes, hands full of wads of cash. “This is why all y’all *** haters hate me, ***. This *** cost me $200,000. I’m only 9 years old. I don’t got no license, but I still drive this sports car, ***. Your favorite rapper ain’t even doing it like Lil Tay.”“The Lil Tay Saga Reaches Its Logical Conclusion” by Taylor Lorenz 5/24/18https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/05/the-lil-tay-saga-reaches-its-logical-conclusion/561116/
Quote
“Why are they teaching these kids anything but English? They live in America. They should learn to speak English.”Tears stung as the words found their unintended mark. I looked across the Thanksgiving dinner table at my then-fiancé, who gave me a sympathetic glance, knowing how much those words hurt. I didn’t have the heart to argue, knowing that my words would fall on deaf ears.“The Monolingual Lie” by Kayla Roste 5/11/18https://medium.com/s/story/the-monolingual-lie-28ae4f3b5616
Quote
“To dye oneself with paints in order to have a rosier or a paler complexion,” wrote Saint Augustine in the fourth century, “is a lying counterfeit.” The theologian, who hailed from what is now Algeria, had an immense influence on Western Christianity, particularly Catholicism—though whether or not this dictum has had a direct impact on the dress codes of religious schools is debatable. Still, many a Catholic high school girl has lived by a strict no-makeup edict—including, if you can believe it, Kim Kardashian West.“Kim Kardashian West Was Once A Catholic School Student Who Couldn’t Wear Makeup--Except On the Weekends” by Celia Ellenberg and Florence Kane 5/17/18https://www.vogue.com/article/kim-kardashian-west-on-catholic-school-and-makeup-met-gala-2018
Analogy/Comparison
They say that the past and the future interact like a wheel – a revolution of trends and pastimes coming and going with each passing decade. One such area, where the revolution is almost as clockwork as the changing seasons, is the gaming industry. From the prevalence of arcade games coming back around to relying on the classics and even reimagining them, gaming often relies on its legacy to keep fans entertained.“The Transitional Platform of Gamin” by Hyperfresh Staff Writer 4/16/18https://hypefreshmag.com/culture/the-transitional-platform-of-gaming-hf-2018
Analogy/Comparison
My grandmother was a mountain. When I was a girl, I’d stand next to her vanity and watch as she strung herself with what I thought of as her “jewels”—jangling, glittering bangles and jade-green Lucite earrings and roped gold necklaces and Swarovski crystal brooches shaped like elephants and tigers. She wore leopard-print nightgowns and smelled like White Diamonds and overflowed from the bones of her chair.“The Trash Heap Has Spoken” byCarmen Maria Machado2/13/17https://www.guernicamag.com/the-trash-heap-has-spoken/

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22 Mentor Texts for Teaching Hooks - imthatteacher.com