5-Star Introductions: An Easy Way to Teach Essay Introductions

5-Star Introductions: An Easy Way to Teach Essay Introductions
5-Star Introductions: An Easy Way to Teach Essay Introductions
5-Star Introductions: An Easy Way to Teach Essay Introductions
5-Star Introductions: An Easy Way to Teach Essay Introductions
5-Star Introductions: An Easy Way to Teach Essay Introductions
5-Star Introductions: An Easy Way to Teach Essay Introductions
5-Star Introductions: An Easy Way to Teach Essay Introductions
5-Star Introductions: An Easy Way to Teach Essay Introductions
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I have found that the most effective and easiest way to teach opinion and informative essay introductions is by using the 5-star method. A 5-star introduction is an introduction that includes 5 things: a hook, a thesis statement, and 3 reasons (or 3 topics.) Just like a hotel, a 5-star introduction is top-notch. It has everything an introduction needs.

Teaching essay introductions will be so easy with this resource because it provides everything you need. It comes with an engaging, colorful, and kid-friendly PowerPoint that thoroughly explains what a hook, thesis statement, and 3 reasons (or topics) are.  It comes with sample introductions that the students read and then rate.  (This further helps them recognize what a 5-star introduction should include). It comes with 4 different prompts that the students can respond to, as well as mentor texts that the students need in order to write their introductions. And then, for student reference, I have also included vocabulary posters for the following terms: writing rubric, types of writing, persuasive writing, opinion writing, informative writing, narrative writing, personal narrative, paragraphs, the start of a paragraph, 5-paragraph essays, 5-paragraph introductions, 5-star introductions, hook, thesis statement, informative hooks, opinion hooks, narrative hooks, body paragraphs, author, growth mindset, and fixed mindset.

DAYS 1-3

To begin your instruction of teaching how to write well-written essay introductions, you will first use the 166-slide PowerPoint. It takes about 3 days to get through the PowerPoint. A suggestion of how to split it up is included in the lesson plan. It follows the following format: (please click the preview to see some of the slides!)

Slides 2-9 Introduces the subject in a fun way. (Students discuss what a 5-star rating is. Then they discuss the various places that use 5-star ratings.)

Slides 10-12 Students learn that another place they are going to use the 5-star rating system is in their very own classroom. Then they learn what their objective is which is: I can read a writing prompt and then respond by writing a 5-star introduction."

Slides 13-18 Students learn what a 5-star introduction is which is: An introduction that is top-notch. It's an introduction that has everything it needs which includes: a hook, a thesis statement, and 3 reasons/topics.

Slides 19-31 Hooks

Slides 32-78 Thesis Statements

Slides 79-91 Practice choosing the correct thesis statement

Slides 94-122 Three reasons/topics

Slides 123-158 Students discuss 4 different introductions with their peers and then give them a rating (we do)

Slides 159-162 Slides that explain to the students that it's their turn (These slides also get used on day 4 and on day 5)

Slides 163-166 Showcase student work (The slides don't get used until after day 5)

While you are presenting the PowerPoint, students can follow along by filling in the blanks, answering questions, and rating introductions by filling in stars that are on the companion handout.


After going through the PowerPoint, students read three different introductions (this time on their own), give them each a rating, and then explain why they gave each introduction that rating. The purpose of this assessment is so that students get good at becoming familiar with what an opinion and informative essay introduction needs. It also gives you a good idea of how well each student can (or can't) recognize a well-written introduction. This worksheet does come with an answer key.


This is the day that students write their own 5-star introduction by responding to one of the following writing prompts (the first two are informative writing prompts and the last two are opinion writing prompts):

Running: Running is one way to exercise. Write an essay explaining how running is beneficial.

Knights: Knights lived during a time called the Middle Ages. Write an essay describing what knights did.

Fast Food: Write an essay where you give your opinion: should we eat fast food?

Zoos: Write an essay where you give your opinion: should we have zoos?

***Each prompt comes with mentor texts. Students use information from the mentor texts to write their introductions.

Please note that students do not respond to the writing prompts by writing an entire essay. They are just writing introductions.


When students finish their introductions, you can easily give them a rating by filling in the stars at the bottom of each worksheet. Or you can grade them with the rubric I have included.

Students love having their good work shown in front of the whole class, so I have included some slides at the end of the PowerPoint where you can easily type up some of their introductions. (The preview shows what they look like.)

Please note: The PowerPoints cannot be edited due to the copyright requirements made by the contributing artists (clip art, font, background).

If you are interested in test prep writing prompts that come WITH mentor texts, I've got you covered!

Opinion writing prompts:

1.Which is a Better Pet, a Cat or a Dog?

2.Are Teens too old to go Trick-or-Treating?

3.Should Fidget Spinners be banned from Schools?

4.Why should the leprechaun give you his gold?

5.Should bugs be added to the school cafeteria menu?

Informative writing prompts:

1.Explain how Caribou Survive the Cold Weather

2.Explain the three Types of Rocks

3.Explain three major things that Abraham Lincoln did during his lifetime.

4.Explain how Water Changes the Earth's Surface

5.Pick a Vertebrate Animal Group and Describe it

Need to do a research project with your students? The following resource includes EVERYTHING you need to successfully implement a career research project with your students:

Career Research Project (Write an essay describing a career of your choice.)

Want ALL of these writing prompts at a discount price? No problem! I have bundled all of my writing prompts into one big bundle for almost half the price! Click HERE to check it out!

Don't forget that you can get TPT credit just by leaving feedback!

Please go to your My Purchases page (you may need to login). Beside each purchase you'll see a Provide Feedback button. Simply click it and you will be taken to a page where you can give a quick rating and leave a short comment for the product. Each time you give feedback, TPT gives you credits that you use to lower the cost of your future purchases. TPT will round up for you too! If you provide feedback on a $4.75, you will earn 5 credits. Every 100 credits is worth $5 that you can apply towards future TPT purchases, but there is no need to wait until you have 100 to redeem them. ☺

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© Lotts of Learning 2018

Total Pages
122 pages
Answer Key
Included with rubric
Teaching Duration
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