The hook, the book, the look, the took

Tim Hawkins (and others) has four elements of a good youth talk:

  • The Hook – why ought people listen? The hook establishes, in the first minute or two of the talk, why the listener ought to keep listening. This is similar to what David Cook calls the Big or Dominant Question.
  • The Book – what the Bible has to say about this situation.
  • The Look – helping the listeners to dig deeper into the Bible and what it means.
  • The Took – is the ‘so what?’ How this part of the Bible impacts on the life of the listener.

I have listened to and given many talks to teenagers during the past year. My observation is that we are strong on the book and the look. But we are weak on the hook which leads to weakness with the took.

The hook is important in drawing the listener into hearing from the text. And the hook helps to shape the take-home cash-value ‘took’ throughout the talk.

What do you think makes a good hook?

For a good look – see the picture above…
(I may have lost weight – but my head’s still big!)


  1. says

    this post gets lots of people via google… but no-one leaves comments… here’s a comment!

    i think i’ve improved on my hooks this year… and i think that it has lead to be tooks.

    what do others think about this original post?

  2. Nigel Lowe says

    Hello, i pray all is well. That an awesome learning cycle. I plan on becoming a Christian education teacher in a few years. Do you have any samples of what a hook, book, look, took would look like in a classroom settings?Any sample manuscripts on what it would look like. Thanks in advance, and God bless.


  3. says

    hey nigel,

    as far as samples… i try to use this framework when i give talks… i hope it comes through more often than not!! – check out some of them here

    as far as classroom.
    really depends on the context.
    plenty of the material put out by youthworks for use in schools does this really well.

    hook: a good intro activity, topical discussion, maybe a video clip, a voxpop with some questions you’ve asked randoms, finish the intro with a big question that you’re asking for the day

    book: turn to the bible. show a passage or verse.

    look: dig in deeper to passage. show how it answers the big question.

    took: tie it all back in at the end. tie it in with the big question. what difference does this make? what’s the next step? change in beliefs? change in behaviour (will depend on if they’re Christian or not…)?

    is that what you’re after?

    if you’re after some actual lessons that i’ve prepared. email me via

  4. Dorothy Ng Siu Ken says

    I just visit this sebsit, that can let me know more about four elements teaching method. many thanks
    May God bless you

  5. Alyssa Faith says

    Wow…this is an older post, but thanks anyway! I’m in a Creative Teaching class at my Bible College and I needed this to be explained more in depth. Thanks, this really is SUPER helpful!!!

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