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Lesson Plan

Collaborative Stories 2: Revising

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Collaborative Stories 2: Revising

Grades K – 2
Lesson Plan Type Minilesson
Estimated Time 50 minutes
Lesson Author

Renee Goularte

Renee Goularte

Magalia, California


National Council of Teachers of English



From Theory to Practice



Using a story which has been written collaboratively, students engage in a whole-group revising process by having each student add a sentence at a time (see the ReadWriteThink lesson Collaborative Stories 1: Prewriting and Drafting). The teacher leads this shared-revising activity to help students consider story content. Students begin by reading their collaborative story and then discuss ways of making changes. Then, after revisions have been made, they reread the story as a group. Finally, students come to a consensus on a title for their story.


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In "Editing: Permission to Start Wrong," Sydney Gurewitz Clemens reminds us that professional writers "edit their own work, and they also use the editing expertise of others" and that "both are necessary for excellent writing." She poses the idea that the "most important and hardest thing to grasp about writing is that you write it wrong at the start. Then you change it a lot. Then you throw away most or all of it" and that "few children of any age know that writers may write a hundred pages and keep just eight or ten. The lesson so often in school is to get it right the first time."

Engaging children in the revising process is as important as engaging them in the drafting process, but often it's difficult for a young writer to let go of a personal idea. Bruce Saddler states: "Given manageable strategies and a classroom culture of support, students should come to realize that a first draft is just that-a draft, and that the need to revise is not a sign of failure, but rather an expected step in the writing process." (26) In this lesson, the path to revision is made less personal by asking students to revise not only their own ideas, but the ideas of others, in a collaborative environment that in essence does not include the intimidation of focusing on just one child's words and ideas.

Further Reading

Clemens, Sydney Gurewitz. "Editing: Permission to Start Wrong." Early Childhood Research and Practice 1.1. (Spring 1999).


Saddler, Bruce. ""But teacher, I added a period!" Middle Schoolers Learn to Revise." Voices from the Middle 11.2 (December 2003): 20-26.

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