Leaves swoop around us this time of year and a swirling rainbow of autumn colors fill the air. Leaves leave the trees, fluttering to the ground to end their seasonal journey. Much thought is given to hooking the reader with story beginnings, but endings are a key component in story and essay structure. How best do you leave a story or end an article you’re writing?
Writing the ending of any story or essay is often the most difficult task for a writer. You may want to leave your readers with a solid, firm opinion, or an open-ending, that can be interpreted in many ways, and perhaps, lead to another book in a series or inspire a new article or essay.
Leave the page
1.Read the last line of a favorite picture book or chapter book aloud in class.
Ask students to write two new endings for this story.
First, they should write a firm ending such as:
“and it was still hot.” Where the Wild Things Are
And one ending that might lead to something new:
“Uh-oh,” I thought. “it’s not just the lunch box.” Third Grade Angels, Jerry Spinelli
2. Ask students to read Kids Discovery, National Geographic Magazine, or use the daily paper from your town. Choose an article or Op-Ed piece to rewrite the final paragraph still using the facts made clear in the article.
Try to “leave” the reader with a whole new question, which to inspire a new discussion.
Example: “Scientists understand key reasons why dinosaurs became extinct, but if there hadn’t been an ice age, do you think we’d still have these massive creatures on Earth? Perhaps as house pets?”
Now write a new article ending leaving the reader with clear knowledge of the represented facts. Example: “Scientific testing on discovered dinosaurs bones are solid proof they could not survive due to severe weather conditions.”
The best authors and journalists play with story and article endings to make sure readers feel like they’ve had a memorable reading experience. Writing a great ending is as satisfying as jumping into a giant pile of autumn leaves. Enjoy!