I told students we were going to learn how to edit our writing to make sure it is correct and easy for readers to read. I reminded them one of the purposes for writing is to inform the reader about something. In this case, we were informing them out a famous landform we have been researching. We want to make sure the reader can understand our writing. I emphasize this because I want students to be aware of the audience. They tend to do their best work when they know others will read it. I remind them their final product will be displayed on the bulletin board outside our classroom.
I began by modeling for students the editing process. I’d created a writer’s checklist which I displayed on the document camera. I explained the skills they would check for in their writing. (I told them to ignore the parts in gray for now.) These were skills we had been working on since the beginning of the year. I displayed my draft on the document camera. I’d intentionally made errors when I wrote it in anticipation of this lesson. I read it aloud to help me find any punctuation errors, such as missed periods. I checked it off on the checklist. I moved to the next item on the checklist and modeled looking for capital letters. I checked it off when I was done. I did this for subsequent boxes until I was done. Students helped along the way.
Once I was done modeling for students, I gave them a writer’s checklist. They took out their drafts and began to edit. I explained that when they were done editing their work, they were to find a peer to edit it, too. I’d included this step on the checklist they used as they completed each stage of the project. Peer editing reinforces editing skills for the peer editor and gives additional feedback to the writer. Even as adults or professional writers, we often let others read our writing as they can find mistakes we may have overlooked. It is good to develop this effective practice in students early on.
Editing is a critical part of the writing process. It is important that students are able to find errors in their own writing. They should become proficient in evaluating their writing for basics, which as accuracy in spelling, grammar, and punctuation. I used a checklist to determine how proficient students were in this area.
Pair Share - Student pairs were given 30 seconds to share what they had learned with their face partner. First one partner shares while the other listens, then partners switch roles.
Discussion Question: Why is it important to edit your writing?