Editing With Purpose and With Peers

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SWBAT develop and strengthen writing as needed by revising, editing, and rewriting by working both independently and with peers on a serial narrative.

Big Idea

We are going to share these stories collectively. Today's class prepares us for that exciting, but nerve-wracking, activity.

Getting Started

5 minutes

We've been editing a lot lately, since we just finished an essay. We spent several classes refining our writing for the final essay on Great Expectations, but today's class should be different, since students are far more excited about working on their creative stories than writing an informational/explanatory essay. We have been working on the serial writing stories once a week for over a month, so they are anxious to finish and share them with their peers.


In the first few minutes of class, we will go over the plan for the day and arrange ourselves. First we will work independently to revise the stories, and then we will work with a neighbor to do some peer revision work (W.9-10.5).

Editing Independently

20 minutes

Students are coming to class with their stories basically finished, but I want to give them a chance to work a bit before sharing it with someone else. They should check for clarity of writing (sentence fragments, etc) and plot development (W.9-10.5). They always get nervous when they learn that someone else is going to read their writing, especially when it is a creative piece. They can take this time to make sure the stories are complete: they need to have three episodes, a clear narrator, and a conflict (W.9-10.3, W.9-10.3a, W.9-10.3b, W.9-10.3c). It is also a good time for students to ask questions and get individual help.


During this independent time, I had a chance to interview a few kids about the project and their thoughts. Take a look at some of their responses. I think you can sense their enthusiasm. 

Peer Editing

30 minutes

Students will work with another student to improve their stories (SL.9-10.1c). Fortunately, they are so excited about sharing, I don't have to give too much direction. I will ask the pairs to look for a few things as they read:

  • Narration: Do you get a sense of character? Do you want to root for the protagonist? (W.9-10.3a)
  • Setting: Where does the story take place? Is it important to the story? Is it vivid and detailed?(W.9-10.3d)
  • Episodes: Are there three? Are they connected by distinct? (W.9-10.3c)
  • Conflict: Is there one?!
  • Resolution: Is the conflict resolved? Do they pull it all together? (W.9-10.3e)


Fortunately, most stories are already pretty good; they have most of the elements. I expect this time to more conversational than writing-based. As they read, they will talk with each other about the story and provide feedback in the moment, instead of how they normally peer edit, which consists of two students switching papers and working separately (W.9-10.5). They are too excited about these projects to sit quietly and read. During this time, I will walk from group to group, focusing students when necessary and answering questions. 

Wrapping Up

5 minutes

The students have one more night to make final corrections on their stories. We have double sessions tomorrow, during which time we will share stories with larger groups and celebrate their success.