I love teaching writing. This week I worked on teaching my students how to revise their writing. Revision is hard. At least it has been for me, as a writer. If I write something I love, I don't want to change it! And 3rd graders feel the same way. Revision is not editing. Revision is becoming more articulate about what you already wrote. I got the idea for this Revision lesson from my mentor teacher, Vangie.
First, I gave all the kids a bar of clay, and they all made an animal. This was the most exciting part.
Second, I told them they had to 1. ADD something to their animal, 2. REMOVE something from their animal, and 3. MOVE something around on their animal. They wrote down on a sheet of paper what they added, removed and moved around on their animal. Then we displayed the animals and everybody had a good time checking them out.
The second day, I brought them back some writing they had done, and had them do the same thing to their writing. 1. ADD something more, 2. REMOVE something that's not necessary and 3. MOVE something around. They marked with post-it notes where they had made these revisions.
As we continue to work on writing for the entire year, I will always refer back to the clay animals to remind them what we need to do when we revise.
P.S. The cute little bunny (above) was stolen off the table outside my classroom, and my poor student Dino just cried and cried. I gave him a couple more bars of clay and let him stay inside for recess to make another bunny. Except for that unfortunate event, the lesson was a success.