This is still one of the more popular posts on the blog, if you don’t count the “First-Person Target” series and those that covered high school journalists getting shafted. The ability to come up with a fun lead-writing exercise can be difficult, but this one seems to work so we’re reposting it here as we head toward the end of the semester. Enjoy!
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:
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:
A North Pole man is accused of homicide after one of his reindeer trampled an area grandmother to death Sunday night.
Santa is wanted in a hit-and-run accident that left one woman dead Sunday night as she left a family gathering.
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:
An area percussionist upstaged several other acts in an impromptu gathering Monday in Nazareth that marked the birth of Christ.
OK, enough with Christmas…
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.
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!