Editing our Writing for Dangling Modifiers

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SWBAT learn what dangling modifier is in order to correct it in their own writing.

Big Idea

Don't mangle your writing with a dangle!

Lesson Opener

10 minutes

In my lesson openers I always have a "connect" in which I connect students' thinking about yesterday's lesson to today's lesson. I then have a "teach" in which I model for students the lesson of the day and also have them try it out. When I think about my modeling, I use three categories; skill, strategy, and process. I model by stating the skill to the students, then giving them a strategy in which to use the skill, followed by the process to try out the strategy.

Connect:  I will say, “We have been crafting a rough draft of a historical fiction story, today we are going to edit the first page of our rough draft for dangling or misplaced modifiers. We then will write the second page of our rough draft by keeping correct sentence structure in mind.”*

Teach: I will say, “In order to make sure our writing is clear and coherent, I am going to show you how to recognize dangling and misplaced modifiers by using the skill of editing your sentences and the strategy of using examples of incorrect and revised sentences. The process I will use is as follows:

1) View a clip of video examples

2) Edit my own sentences using the resource sheet.

3) Edit my partner’s sentences using the resource sheet.”  

I will show students the below video, after the first example, I will have the students turn and talk about how they would revise the sentence. I will then show them how I go into my own writing and use the resource sheet (2nd page) to write an example of a dangling modifier and how I would revise it.    

*I taught this lesson because after reading the drafts, I decided that the majority of the class needed this lesson! I would not have taught it unless the students really could make the corrections on their own work. There is a lot of research which states that students do not learn from stand alone lessons which do not connect to their own writing.

Active Engagement

5 minutes

Active Engagement: I will say, “Read over your writing and then turn and tell your partner a sentence that you could edit. I will listen in to the student’s conversations (at least 3 students-one who is at standard, one is approaching standard, and one who is above standard).

As I was hearing some confusion in the turn and talk, I gave them the below example. I heard a lot of "Oh!" The light bulb turned on for more students after I showed them a physical example of a dangling modifier.

Closing of Active Engagement: I will say, “Remember successful writers know how to recognize dangling and misplaced modifiers by editing their sentences and using examples of incorrect and revised sentences to assist them. They also use examples from their partners to help them understand correct sentence structure.”

Independent Pratice

30 minutes

Independent Practice: I will say, “You will continue to edit your writing, then switch with a partner, after you have completed your editing you will continue writing your rough draft. I will walk around and confer with students.

Partner Work: Students will be directed to turn and share a scene with their partner when I see that most of the class has completed at least half of a page. I will say, “I want you to share your writing with a partner. “Decide who will be partner A and who will be partner B. Partner A I want you to share what you have written so far. Partner B, I want you to listen if Partner A has crafted clear and coherent sentences that do not have dangling modifiers. If not, give them feedback; tell them an idea of what they could add or let them know what your favorite sentences were. Then you will switch.” I will then give students time to revise, or have them make notes and revise for homework.


I believe that the end of the lesson should be an assessment of the days’ learning; therefore it should be independent work. I always end class with an exit ticker in which students write down the response to a question.

Closing: Students will turn in their resource sheet with the examples of what they edited.