Exercise time! Pick a song and write a lead (or “Santa sought in hit-and-run homicide.”)

In many cases, songs are essentially stories, just told in a different way. If you want a lead-writing exercise that emphasizes critical thought and a bit of fun, have your students write a basic lead to capture the 5W’s and 1H of a popular song. If you want to make it a bit more challenging, add the rule that they can’t use the title of the song in the lead.

Consider this holiday favorite for a simple news lead:

SUMMARY LEAD:
Citing a recent break-up, a Memphis man said Thursday he will be depressed this Christmas, even as he wishes his former girlfriend well.

If you want to have a little more fun or dig a little deeper, this song has been on constantly around here:

Interesting-Action lead:
A North Pole man is accused of homicide after one of his reindeer trampled an area grandmother to death Sunday night.

Name-Recognition lead:
Santa is wanted in a hit-and-run accident that left one woman dead Sunday night as she left a family gathering.

Day-Two lead:
Members of an area family are in mourning Monday after their “grandma” was killed in a hit-and-run accident overnight.

 

Looking for a “concert review” lead? Try this one:

Review lead:
An area percussionist upstaged several other acts in an impromptu gathering Monday in Nazareth that marked the birth of Christ.

 

OK, enough with Christmas…

Summary/Event lead:
Many celebrities celebrate “the festival of lights” rather than Christmas during this holiday season, a Brooklyn man said Thursday.

 

If you want to get away from the holidays all together, you can always pick a song from the recent inductees at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame:

Interesting-Action lead (two sentence edition):
In spite of financial struggles and personal problems, a New Jersey couple said Thursday love has kept them together.
Tommy, an unemployed dock worker, and Gina, an area waitress, said they will continue to fight for a better life because “you live for the fight when that’s all that you got.”

 

No, I don’t know “any bands from this millennium,” and half the songs my students suggested had a little too much cussing in them to make the folks at SAGE comfortable, so here’s something more recent, less caustic and still really poppy.

Broadcast lead:
Don’t wait to have fun in life.
That’s the message a London-based boy band had for its listeners Thursday morning.

Pick some songs and have some fun!

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