Writing Expository Text About a Community Helper Day 2 of 2

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SWBAT peer edit their partner's work in order to make the writing stronger.

Big Idea

Today students learn how to peer edit effectively in order to make their partner's text stronger.

Teacher Background Knowledge and Preparation

Today students will be transferring the information from their flow map to make their sloppy copies.  After completing their sloppy copies, partners will engage in speaking and listening to each other as they edit each others work.  After peer editing, students will revise their work and complete their good copies.  All these tasks address standards W1.2, W1.5, and SL1.1.

There is a great deal of work that goes into getting your students to be successful with peer editing.  It is not a task that you can explain and then tell your students, "Ok, go for it."  It takes a great deal of modeling and many opportunities for students to practice over time.  The bulk of today's lesson will focus on setting the foundation for getting the students to be successful in this process.  Just like yesterday's lesson, I've written this as a one day lesson.  I actually completed the lesson over several days.  I really only have about 30 minutes of writing time each day so I encourage you to break this lesson up to fit your schedule as well.

For today's lesson you will either need your Smartboard Community Member Writing Lesson.notebook or Activboard Community Member Writing Lesson.flipchart lesson.  You will also want to copy enough Editing Checklist for Informative Writing.pdf for each of your students to use during peer editing.  Finally, you will want to copy enough Journal Paper.pdf for your students to write both a sloppy copy and a good copy.  I make double sided copies of the resources listed.

Writing Our Sloppy Copies

15 minutes

I always want to switch up my partner groups because I know how important it is for my students to work with all their classmates, not just their good buddies.  Learning should be fun and that includes finding fun ways to find a partner.  I've included some resources here PartnerPickingCardsPartnerMatchUp.pdf, here PickYourColorPartner.pdf, and here TheGrouperthefastandeasywaytogroupstudents.pdf. After picking partners, students took their flow maps from yesterday and sat next to their partner at the student tables.

I brought up my Smartboard lesson from yesterday and went to the flow map slides.  I said, "At the end of yesterday's lesson, we numbered our boxes on our flow map.  This will help you keep track of which sentences you are working on in case you forget.  Remember you will transfer everything from box 1 onto your journal paper first, then box 2 and so on until you've reached your final box.  The journal paper has a front and back side but if you need more paper, come and see me and I will give you more. Since this is just our sloppy copy, you don't have to make an illustration.  We will make the illustration for our good copy.  Does everyone understand what to do? Let's get started."  My students got right to work and it was quiet in the room because everyone was using their powers of concentration.  It really didn't take long for my students to transfer their information from their flow map to their journal paper and we were soon ready to begin the peer editing process.

Peer Editing

40 minutes

Before I started the lesson for today I brought one of my students out to the hallway and told him he would be my editing partner today as we showed the students the correct way to work together when peer editing.  Just as I did with our Writing a Friendly Letter to Our Favorite Author lesson we would use humor in our modeling to break down students fears about the editing process.

I chose a different partner today.  This student was, again, a strong writer, and I knew he would be able to find many of my mistakes.  I told him, "Just like our letter writing lesson, I am going to have an example of my writing up on the Smartboard.  It has many mistakes in it. I want you to be silly when reading my writing.  I want you to say things like, 'What were you thinking when you wrote this???  You obviously didn't read this to yourself because it doesn't make sense.'  Then I'll pretend to cry and say how hurtful that was. This way we can show everyone what NOT to say to their partner. Let's have fun and really make our modeling part silly." 

The students came to the carpet and sat in front of the Smartboard.  I have an example of the piece of writing that I used to model the editing process Officer Lane Editing Example.pdf and I also modeled using the checklist.  My partner was incredibly silly, I cried, and of course the kids howled with laughter.  We went through and edited, modeling how to use the checklist as our guide. We discussed how both partners should be looking at only one piece of writing at a time and how to offer feedback without hurting their partner's feelings.  Before partners went back to their seats I said, "Remember, your partner only wants to make your writing better, so don't get upset if they want you to make changes to your writing."

The students went to work, using their checklists and trying their best to improve their writing.

Writing Our Good Copies and Illustrating

30 minutes

Once students were finished editing, I allowed them to begin on their good copies.  I had them save their sloppy copies with the peer editor's initials to look at later so that I could see what they were struggling with from both a content aspect and a conventions/editing aspect.  This was an authentic assessment that I used to plan future writing and editing lessons on based on those areas of growth that I identified.

Students worked on their good copies based on the revisions that were made on their sloppy copies.  I circulated around the room to see if anyone was having a hard time implementing the changes their partner made.  This could be a reason why their good copy would be of poor quality, so I wanted to be sure I was watching for this.  After completing their written work, they completed their illustration to accompany their writing.

Closure - Sharing Our Writing

10 minutes

Once students were finished with their good copies, I gave them the opportunity to share.  I didn't want to force anyone to read their writing so I just said, "If you would like to read your writing to the class come up to the carpet with it and we will take turns reading our stories.  If you don't want to read your work put all your maps, your sloppy copy and your good copy in a nice neat stack and place it in the tray where our finished work goes."

Before we started reading, I reminded students of proper etiquette when listening to a speaker and to applaud when the person was done reading.  I have some samples of student work here: Student Writing Officer Lane.docx. And here is a video of some of my students reading their work to the class: Reading About Officer Lane.mp4.