Guess the First Line

Guess the First Line

  • 30
  • 60


  • Bring Joy

What you need

  1. A collection of around 20 fiction books from all age groups
  2. Pens and paper


Calling all book lovers! This activity is a chance to explore and reminisce about great fiction – and re-write (or guess) their all-important first lines. There are no wrong answers, and no winners or losers. So just take your time to discuss the books and enjoy flexing the creative side of your brain as you go.

Top tip

No need to rush the activity. If you just get through 1 book and everyone enjoyed themselves, great!

The Activity

  1. Gather the small group in a quiet area (around a table is best), and give everyone a pen and paper
  2. Show the group a book, then read its title and synopsis on the back
  3. Discuss who has read the book and what they remember about it
  4. Pass the book around as you discuss, so everyone can look at the book cover (no peeking inside though!)
  5. Put the book in the middle of the table, and ask each person to write down what they think the first line could be (some may know the book well and perhaps know)
  6. Invite everyone to take it in turns to read out their line
  7. Reveal the actual first line from the front of the book. Is anyone close?
  8. Compare everyone’s line to the real one and discuss whose they think is best
  9. Once discussed, move onto another book