Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tried it Tuesday: Revising

http://fourthgradeflipper.blogspot.com/2014/01/tried-it-tuesday-new-years-resolutions.htmlHappy Tuesday! Time to link up with one of my favorite friends, Holly, for her Tried It Tuesday

This week we've been trying to understand the difference between editing and revising and why authors use these skills. I have many students who write something, pass it in, and never look at it again. We talked about how revising is actually revisiting the work, rethinking, and making alterations. 

We started off by reading Birthday Bunny, in PDF format, for free, here. I asked the students to rate the story on the scale from 1-5 (1 being the worst book ever). Most students gave it a 1 or 2 during the check points in the story. We predicted what was going to happen and we were all right. I then made up a story about a boy named Alex and how he received that book for his birthday from his Grandmother. His mother made him keep the book since it was a gift from his grandmother, but as he grew older he didn't appreciate the story. He decided to revise the book to be more age appropriate. When he revised the story, it looked like...THIS...
When I showed the book to the kids they freaked out (It's also available online for free on the website). The students were laughing, cheering, and couldn't wait to see the rest of the book. Some students thought I did it to the book, but I assured them Alex was real and did this on his own. As we read the book together, I had the students check in with the same book rating scale. They all LOVED it. They loved how Alex crossed out and added to the pictures and sentences to make a completely different story. They then understood the point of revising and sometimes when you take a second look at the same story, you can create something totally different and BETTER. 

 How could you not love these new illustrations and cross outs!?

They wanted to revise like Alex, so I handed out a short one page story I wrote. Together we read the story and everyone individually revised the story. After about ten minutes they met with partners and shared their "new" story. Students were encouraged to add figurative language to the story, add strong word choice, and continue the story onto the back page. Some students did not want to stop writing and asked to take it home for homework to continue! 

I do have some reluctant writers in the classroom, but they now say this was one of their favorite activities! Look how much extra the girls above wrote!!

I did allow the students to use colored pens to revise the story. This was also a great motivator because anything is cooler than a pencil when you are in fourth grade! ;) Since they loved this so much, we've done a few of them throughout the week. Each day the "new" story was better than the last. My students are really getting the hang of incorporating figurative language into their writing and their vocabulary is improving amazingly!

 I'm so glad I did this with my students because I've been seeing students take the time to actually revise their work now. We went back to some quick writes, poems, and even notebook responses, read them over and revised. I am excited to see how they do on their narrative coming up for our district writing prompt! 

Check out my Revise the Story packet on TPT! Right now there are five one-page stories included in the packet, but I will be adding to it as soon as I finished my report cards! :) 



  1. Ok, I MUST get my hands on that book! That is AWESOME!!!!!

  2. That sounds like SUCH a good way to get students to check over their work. My students still want to write and hand it in to me, without ever reading over it themselves. Ahhh!

    The 4th Grade Journey

  3. Super fun!! Thanks so much for sharing this!! This is awesome!!! I will HAVE to try this!!!!
    :O) Amanda

  4. I have this book sitting on my desk - now I am totally ready to use it!! Thanks for sharing - can't wait to use it.

  5. LOVE this idea! How did you know I needed to practice this for my big writing test in 24 DAYS??!!!!!! Thank you Theresa!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  6. What a great activity! Also, never thought to use colored pens for a little bit of motivation. Thanks for sharing.

  7. I am SO doing this!!! YES! Nothing drives me more insane than the kids not looking back over their writing. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  8. What a terrific lesson. I like how you explained revising is like revisiting the story-easy for the kids to remember to go back and look at it again. I am going to have to get this story. Thanks for sharing such a timely lesson!
    On the Trail of Learning

  9. what a cute book. I almost miss teaching writing...

    Hodges Herald

  10. What a great way to show the benefits of revising. Thank you so much for sharing this. I will definitely use it in my classroom!

    Fit to be Fourth

  11. Well now I've got a new book to read with the kids. I've been doing this with some older boys, but I have a feeling this book will work out nicely.

    Digital: Divide & Conquer

  12. YES!!! I am so glad that I am finally getting around to catching up on my blog reading! This book looks amazing and so does your pack! Thank you so much for sharing this idea! :)
    Fourth Grade Flipper


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