Summary and Context
The truth is that the revision process can be messy, because we can revise in many different ways and at many different times. That is why it is necessary to set a purpose for revising, and to keep practicing to become comfortable and efficient with the process. Today, I will have my students revise the habitat paragraph of their animal report. I will model the revision process and provide a checklist for them to use.
Once students finish revising their paragraph, they will rewrite it. Afterwards, some students will have the opportunity to share with their peers.
I share the objective for the lesson and review the revision process with students. I ask them to think about what we did when we revised the first paragraph. I ask a few students to share what we did. I let students know they will be following a similar process for the habitat paragraph. I explain that in revising, rereading is key to figuring out what additions are needed and where they fit best.
To model the revision process, I use the model forest habitat paragraph from a previous lesson and a revision checklist. I have given students a sheet of paper with the checklist copied on both sides, so once we are done moving through the process together, they simply turn it over to use for their own paragraph.
What do I want them to look for in their paragraph? In addition to an opening and a closing sentence, I ask students to include sentences about the location, climate, and animal and plant life of their habitat.
I remind them to read the paragraph through at least once before starting the revisions. After reading the forest paragraph, I reference the checklist. This paragraph includes an opening sentence, so I check it off the list. As we continue, we notice that the paragraph does not include any information about the climate in the forest. I open up a discussion (video) by posing a question about where a sentence about climate would makes the most sense in the paragraph. Once the class comes to consensus, we add the sentence, and then move on the rest of the items on the checklist.
I take my time moving through the process to make sure my students understand the task.
If students notice that a sentence is missing, I want to know their thinking about where to add it. I ask a few to share their thought process with me. It is important for my students to explain the revisions they make (video). Explaining their choices helps them develop reasoning. This is good practice for my English Language Learners.
Once I am done walking around, I like to sit at the round table and have my students come to me when they need assistance. I can keep an eye on everyone from here. As they revise their paragraphs, my students are free to use any color pens.
I have included a couple samples of their revised paragraphs in the Resources.
Once students have completed their checklists and revised their paragraphs to the best of their ability, they bring their paragraphs to me. I give them the green light to rewrite it on a fresh sheet of paper.
I give them plenty of time to rewrite. I don't want them to rush. I make sure to remind them to indent their first line and to use neat printing. I let them know that once they finish their rewriting, they are free to draw and color their illustrations.
I have included several examples of rewritten paragraphs in the Resources.
Now that my students have spent time revising and rewriting their paragraphs, some of them get to share with the whole class. Sharing work allows students to reread, practice the academic language, and practice their listening and speaking skills.
It is important for students to get feedback about their work. For feedback to be valuable, it needs to specific. That is why I have taught my students to give speakers specific details about they liked and what they wished for in their writing.This is the system I use for feedback:
Additionally, this time allows us to bond and see each other as learners and teachers. I have included several great videos of student sharers in the Resources.