Making Writing Better: Using Rubrics

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SWBAT assess their writing using a rubric and revise where needed.

Big Idea

Genre specific rubrics support students in revising their drafts to show their best writing skills.


5 minutes

By this lesson, students have studied the elements of an expository writing and completed their draft for an expository writing prompt. They are now going to use a checklist and rubric to revise their own writing. 

I remind students that the checklist is a very useful tool that will help them meet all of the expectations of the assessment. It will also help remind them of the strategies they have already learned about writing. During the actual assessment, they will also have the chance to review the checklist in order to revise and that is wha they will practice today.


Main Activity

30 minutes

To begin, I model how to use the checklist to revise and make their writing better. I choose a writing sample that had a below passing score. Using the checklist, I indicated which elements were missing from the writing. Then, I selected one or two to think out loud and show how I would change it. 

For example, a sample may have no paragraphs and topic sentences were unclear. I could revise this by creating a paragraph and writing, "My first reason I love cows are...", "My second reason that I think cows are amazing is..." etc. 

After I've modeled it, I ask students to give advice to the writer about how to revise the sample. Students first share with a partner then I call on a few students to share. 

Students will then use the checklist provided, a sample of the one they will see in their assessment booklet, to revise their writing and write the published draft on the lines provided in the booklet. 


5 minutes

Finally, after students have revised their writing and written their final, they share what they did. With a partner, they indicate what was already strong in their writing and what they chose to revise. Then she share what the new draft became.

Students often request to share their writing because they feel proud about what the time they spent on making their writing strong. If there is time, students can share with a partner and choose to later publish the writing for their portfolio.