After seven other creative writing lessons, it was time to take a deep dive into revision.
We’ve been discussing revision every week as we review the homework assignments at the beginning of class.
These students were eager to see the good and the bad each week; they wanted to improve, and they listened to the feedback given.
By week three, students participated in the feedback. I would read a homework assignment and ask each person to find one compliment for the writer and one suggestion.
Revision Lesson Plan
1. Discuss Revision
I love the word revise. It literally means to re-see, to see again.
I encourage my students to look at their writing again, with new eyes.
We draft drafts so that we can improve our writing. This is the amazing thing about crafting with a pencil. It is like sloshing paint on a canvas, but unlike a painter, a wordsmith has a chance to erase, to cross out, to fill in–to make something new. Our paint is not stuck.
I discuss all of this with my students, and I try to inspire them to not be “one and done” writers. Continually work (and work and work!) to make your writing better.
2. Give Revision Guidelines
Tell the students they they are going to find a peer review partner. Give them simple guidelines: You must give your partner at least five pieces of feedback. You can fix spelling and grammar, but these do not count toward the five pieces of feedback.
Explain what constructive review entails and encourage them to word things in an encouraging but challenging way. Give examples. (I discussed how we had done this all semester.)
The students partnered up for the remainder of the class and reviewed one another’s fairy tales. I was amazed when I noted how they wrote comments and notes all over their peer’s papers.
Note: If you aren’t sure about all of this peer editing stuff, please check out Jimmie’s blog post. It will give you some great guidelines.
3. At the end of the class, students were instructed to go home and revise. See your story again with new eyes.
They were to email their stories to me by Wednesday, so I could have them back to them as quickly as possible for the final edits.
They were also told to bring these things to the next class:
- final fractured fairy tale
- two additional revised works (anything they had written in the past eight weeks)
- their favorite poem (written by someone else)
- a strong voice (to read all of the above aloud)
- a coffee house snack (we had a sign-up sheet)
Creative Writing Final Week
For our final week, I hosted a Coffee House.
We set up shop–complete with coffee & cream, hot cocoa, muffins, pirouette cookies, biscotti, and other baked deliciousness.
Each student took his or her turn reading the poetry and prose written throughout the course.
We were filled up with beautiful goodness–the wordy kind. And we were sad to part.
More Creative Writing Lessons
If you missed my other creative writing lessons related to this class, you can start here.
If you are looking for additional creative writing lessons, try these.