We've been working on writing fictional stories this week. I was helping a student improve his introduction.
Me: Try to introduce your character and setting a little bit, instead of jumping straight into the action. You know, how stories start with, "Once upon a time..." or "A long, long time ago..."
Carrot Top: Oh, I got it! I got it! Way back when....in 1972...[He lights up, proud of his brilliance.]
Me (interrupting, feigning hurt): I was nine in 1972.
Carrot Top (sheepishly): Yikes! Okay, way back when, in....1658....!
Me: That's more like it!