A Peer Editing Session

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SWBAT improve their working draft before turning in a final draft of an essay by engaging in peer editing and getting some class time to address issues that emerge.

Big Idea

A final hand of support before turning in a final draft.


Today we are on a minimum day schedule. The entire period is only 37 minutes. This is actually a perfect time to engage in peer editing. Students have an entire draft of their essay in which they agree or disagree with the argument made in an article by Tom Carhart, a Vietnam War Veteran who expressed strong opposition when the current Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall design was selected among hundreds of design proposals.

Peer Editing Session

15 minutes

I have used this chart when engaging students in a peer editing session in past lessons and we use it again today.  Students are familiar with it so I just remind them that they should refer to the two columns printed in red as they make comments on their classmate’s paper. 

I pair up students and ask them to trade papers. I keep the class silent for about 5 minutes to give them all an opportunity to read their partner’s paper. This is an important step in providing quality feed back. Oftentimes, students skim their papers and pass that off as thorough editing. I make sure I always remind them that such approach does not result in the type of editing necessary to produce a good piece of writing. The 5 minutes of silent reading is one way of forcing them to read thoroughly.

I then ask students to engage in discussion about each other’s working draft. Sometimes I have to prompt students to engage in a discussion. In this video, I try to jumpstart the discussion between two students. 

Final Edits

20 minutes

I give students the last part of class to work on a final draft and implement the feedback they just received. They will have a couple more days to work on this at home.