Revisions in Writing- 8 Rockin Steps to Revise!

Common Core Standard:  W.3.5, W.4.5, W.5.5, W.6.5
W.3.3c, W.4.3.c,  W.5.3.c, W.6.3.c
W.3.3d, W.4.3.d,  W.5.3.d, W.6.3.d
W.4.3.e, W.5.3.e, W.6.3.e

Do your students like to copy rough drafts to their final drafts without revising?  I think that is how most upper elementary students think about writing.  Get it done and be done with it.  Or as some of us say in the south:

My name is Pam Olivieri from Rockin Resources and I love writing with my students!  Last year, our test scores rocked and my students developed a love for writing.  Are you wondering how to have the same results?  The key is to teach mini lessons in the order they are needed in writing and be excited about writing!  They will want to imitate your enthusiasm!  Then practice, practice, practice and keep them accountable for all the lessons previously introduced.  One of the steps of the writing process is revising.  The following 8 steps will help your students revise their essays and you will see them smile as their writing transforms into a well-written paper right before their eyes!

Time allotted:  35 minutes per day  (8 days)

Students will need:
* A rough draft essay
* Colored pens or pencils
* Thesaurus
* Notebook
* Glue and scissors (if using interactive notebooks)

I call this step of the writing process DARE TO REVISE.  Read your story out loud!  When students read their own papers out loud, they can HEAR where they are making errors.  I love it when a student is reading a writing piece to me out loud and says, "I didn't mean to say that!"  I reply, "This is exactly why we are revising!"  It reinforces what I've been telling them all along!  After rough drafts are completed, students should either read their essay to a peer or record it on a device where they can play it back to LISTEN for places to revise.

Whether you have your students create interactive notebooks or simply take notes in a notebook, have them add the following acronym:

D- Delete unnecessary information
A- Add more important detail and transition words.
R- Rearrange text to be logical and effective.  
E-  Exchange words for clearer and stronger ones.

As you can see, I tried changing it to READ to Revise.  I have to say my kids liked DARE to revise much more!  Sooooo I changed it back!

It is always good to share a mentor text for revising.  A suggestion is Hooray for Diffendoofer Day by Jack Pretlutsky and Dr. Seuss.  The appendix shows how famous authors find the need to revise!  Explain that even the best authors revise, edit, revise, edit, over and over before they even think about the publishing stage.  Roald Dahl's website is an amazing resource to share with your students.  There is an interview with him where he talks about the importance of revising.  I am in awe over this humble man. 

2.  R- Rearrange----- Rearrange text to be logical and effective.  Stick to the topic.

Explain Rearrange and use the class story to rearrange text.  If there isn't an area to rearrange, create one prior to the lesson!  Modeling and/or using a class story helps students get a solid understanding of the lesson.  Students need to go back to essays and rearrange text for a logical progression with color pens or pencils.  Some teachers like students to use one color of pen or pencil and that is absolutely fine!  I allow my students to use as many colors as they like.  My philosophy is if they are excited over colored pens to revise, then so be it!  Any way I can get them motivated with this writing process, I will take it!

3.  E- Exchange ------Exchange words for clearer or stronger ones.

Rockin Beginnings
Mentor Text- Love Ruby Lavender by Deborah Wiles.  She gets your kiddos excited to change their beginnings!  I stress the fact that nobody should start the essay with Hi My Name is..... Ugh!  That drives me bonkers!

This lists gets their brains a-ticking!  With our class story, we create Rockin Beginnings using each of the ten samples and then decide on one together.  Then I like students to create several beginnings for their own story before choosing the best one.

Inside the flap, they write a Rockin Beginning for their story!

4.  E- Exchange ------Exchange words for clearer or stronger ones.

Million Dollar Words (Word Choice)
Mentor Text:  I Love You the Purplest by Barbara M. Joossee  
I made up the acronym FAAVS to help my students remember what types of words they can use to make their sentences CHA-CHING! 

First I introduce the following poster or slide.....

.....and students take notes:


We then work on adding one of each of the FAAVS to a simple sentence:  
EX:  A dog went down the road.  
When finished, it might read:  
A dog as tiny as a mouse quickly bolted down the steep, rocky road.

After we go through the class story and exchange words, the students write at least one of each of the FAAVS to go along with their own story.  

As I walk around the room, I look for student samples and give a couple students a $$ sentence strip.  They write their samples on the sentence strip and I place them on our Million Dollar Word Wall.  It is fun to have a bulletin board with all their $$Million Dollar FAAVS!!!!  They love seeing their words and phrases up in the room!

Although Million Dollar Words is listed under Exchange,  I tell the students that there are several places you may want to Add them too.  Although that lesson is at a later time, they can go ahead and work on this adding portion along with exchanging.

5.  E- Exchange ------ Exchange words for clearer or stronger ones. 

Variety of Sentences
Do your students start their sentences the same way over and over?  He did this.  He did that.  Yadda yadda.  Explain that they will be changing some of their sentences around for better fluency and to keep the reader's attention.  The following examples can be used for notes and examples, but practicing it together helps a ton!  Let them scour through the class story and their own writing to find places to change.  Does your skin crawl when students change one sentence and say, "I'm done?"  This happens a lot on this lesson but I tell them they have to keep working for the allotted time.

6.  E- Exchange ------ Exchange words for clearer or stronger ones.

Jammin Conclusions
Mentor Texts: First Day Jitters  by Danneberg or Owl Moon by Yolen 

Providing a Jammin Conclusion can end the story, tell the future, surprise the reader, tell the lesson, and/or wrap up the story.  It should make sure the reader will feel satisfied and put a smile on their face.  Share the 10 Ways to End Your Essay and rewrite the class story together.  

Students should take notes and then rewrite their own story ending.

7.  A- Add-  Add more important detail and Transition Words    (Also add Million Dollar Words)
Mentor Text- Through Granpda’s Eyes by Patricia Maclachian 

Transition words.  Share the different types of transition words below and have the students take notes.  Work on the class sample together and then let them work on their own story!

8.  D-Delete -Delete Unnecessary Information

Last, students need to go through their stories one last time to see if there are any places that simply don't belong.  Ex. 
      We started investigating and found many clues.  I noticed that a shelf fell and shattered the window!  Mom saw that our dinner on the counter was gone.  Fluffy ran into the room and was so excited.  Fluffy has big furry hair.  He was licking his chops.  I said, "What did you do boy?"

After they go through their own stories, they have completed the revising step of the writing process! Woo woo!  Although it may have taken a lot of time to go through each revising step, it will show to be beneficial in future writing pieces!  They can do their revising all in one day but use their notes to remind them of all the ways to revise!
I hope these 8 steps help your students want to ROCK 'N' WRITE!!!!!

Do you need free posters for the Writing Process?  Click Here!

Stay tuned for more posts from Upper Elementary Snapshots!  I feel so blessed to be a part of such a wonderful, talented group and I love all of their ideas!  I want to use every single one of them in my classroom!