The final performance: Putting it all together for our first writing experience (2 of 2)

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SWBAT strengthen their narrative writing by self revising their work.

Big Idea

If we teach students how to self revise will they be better writers and thinkers?

Mini Lesson

15 minutes

The doc cam is one of my best friends.  Seriously, I use it daily.  it is such a valuable tool for teachers!  I utilize the doc cam in many of my lessons.  However, if you don't have one, this video Tech tools for the classroom gives suggestions for using your phone instead.  

As I conclude this unit, students are strengthening the writing they began yesterday by spending some time revising (W.9-10.5).  This unit has spent a ton of time in the W Standard 5, but I think it is the most important standard at this point in the year.  For my students to develop as writers the way I want them to, they have to spend time strengthening their writing through planning, revising and trying new approaches.  My goal is to teach students how to write rather than just having them write.  

I distribute Self guided writing revision document to the students.  Years ago, I received this document at a National Writer's Project and it changed the way I teach the writing process.  Before students can accept criticism about their writing from other people, they need to self assess and self revise.  

I put a piece of my own writing under the document camera and progress through the self guided writing revision document.  The document camera is a great tool that allows students to see each others work immediately.  I am very critical of my own work.  I explain to students that whenever we, as writers, publish something from our heart, it is difficult to accept that we can make it better.  However, as I progress through my writing, revising, changing, adding, students begin to understand that our first efforts are good, but revision makes it great.  

Student work time

20 minutes

I tell students to use a writing utensil that is a different color than the one they used to write their narrative yesterday.  I ask students to do this because I want to be able to read their revision thinking.  As students work through the document and their writing from yesterday's lesson, I circulate the room.  There will be students who add a period and comma and want to call it a day.  For those students, I will sit next to them and go through a few of the questions from the revision document.  I will frequently remind students that my revision lasted 15 minutes and their revision should as well.  

Publication Party

15 minutes

After we are finished, I hand a highlighter to each student and tell them to highlight the section of their narrative that they feel is the best writing.  Next, we celebrate writing.  Students will gallery walk around the room reading the highlighted section of their peers' writing (SL.9-10.1).  I'm not asking them to respond today because I want this to be about celebrating publishing our first piece of writing. When they are finished, I ask students to turn in their writing.  I am going to read the highlighted section and respond with a positive and a suggestion for strengthening their writing.  I do this so that students get used to both my confidence in them and my ability to help them grow.