First Lines–Journal Prompts

Here are some famous first lines from different books and movies.  Students will write a story where one of the lines must appear, authentically, in the story.  The line doesn’t have to be the first line, but it does have to appear.

  • It was the best of times.  It was the worst of times.
  • All this happened, more or less.
  • I had just come to accept that my life would be ordinary when extraordinary things began to happen.
  • It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
  • When he was nearly thirteen, my brother, Jem, got his arm badly broken at the elbow.
  • What’s your dream?
  • All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
  • Marley was dead, to begin with.

PBL Resource—A site that has multiple problem based learning lessons/units available.  Teachers/Schools can purchase licenses and have access to the lessons.  If you want to check it out, you can get a temporary password by email Ben Bache,


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Motivating Teens to Read and Write

“Teens say the most important factor for them to feel motivated to write is using it as a way to connect with, and receive feedback from, teachers, family members, and friends.”