Biography: Editing an Informative Essay

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SWBAT demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English grammar and usage, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling, and language and its conventions by editing a writing piece using a checklist.

Big Idea

Students make corrections to their informational essay about a famous person they have been working on in preparation for the Biography Tea.


15 minutes

To begin the lesson, I directed students to the poster on our Writing Wall that lists the steps of the writing process.  I reminded them that editing is when we make corrections, such as grammar, spelling, and punctuation. I displayed an editing on the document camera and reviewed it with students. It contained items we had learned in previous lessons, such as subject-verb agreement. I this this to communicate to students that the skills they’d learned had a practical application. I asked why those items were important. They told me it was to make sure others were able to understand our writing. This let me know that students were aware of audience. I modeled editing my revised draft using the checklist, circling any errors with a colored pencil. I explained the corrections as I made them. Eventually, students assisted with identifying my errors. 

Independent Practice

20 minutes

Students edited their revised draft during independent practice. I walked around the room as they worked, making sure they used the checklist by checking off each item as they made the corrections. I did this because students quickly check off each item without actually checking for the errors. They also had at least two peers check their writing using a different colored pencil. This was evidence that peer editing took place.  


10 minutes

Students assessed their writing using the editing checklist. I also observed how adept they were at identifying their mistakes. If students missed some errors, I coached them through questioning to identify them. For example, if the verb tense changed in a paragraph, I would ask them if the event occurred in the past, present, or future. This prompted them identify the correct form and make the change.