Confession time – I love making lists, and I especially love crossing tasks off my lists. So when it came time for me to devise a way to teach my students how to revise and edit their writing, I decided to go with a simple check list approach. Of course. 🙂
Writer’s Workshop Schedule
Let’s recap how I structure a typical 5-day writing week in my classroom:
- Monday – introduce the prompt and complete the agree/disagree analysis chart
- Tuesday – writer’s craft mini-lesson and complete the graphic organizer
- Wednesday – write the rough draft
- Thursday – revise and edit
- Friday – write final copy, reflection, and share/publish
I use the Writer’s Check List on Thursday as a way for my students to guide themselves through their revising and editing. I’m only one person and it’s just not possible for me to individually guide each student through that part of the writing process. However, simply telling students that they should revise and edit their writing is way too vague for 99% of your kiddos.
Opinion Writing Revising and Editing
Students place their Writer’s Check List next to their rough draft. Starting at the top of the check list, they methodically work their way through the list. Their goal is to find each element in the check list within their rough draft. For example, the first element is a hook – do they have an interesting beginning to their piece? If they can find just such a “writer’s hook”, then they can check it off the list as complete.
Revising Your Writing
When a student can’t find an element on the check list in their rough draft, that’s when they pause to revise or edit their writing. In the photo below, you see one student who made a revision to his writing. While using the check list, he realized he had not included a topic sentence with his opinion clearly stated. For me, that was a “sorry, not sorry” moment because I was sorry he had left out such an important sentence, but I was also not sorry for the wonderful teaching moment that came as a result of the check list.
Scoring Guide Aligned
The Writer’s Check List is aligned to our scoring guide, which helps students focus on meeting the standards set for students with opinion writing. Once they have gone through the check list, it’s time for some peer review. I’ll share more about how we do that part of the revising/editing process tomorrow. Happy teaching! ~ Sally