Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Young Authors Lesson 4 ~ Editing

     In our last Young Authors lesson, students were instructed to write the rough draft of their story.  Remember that the length of the story is up to your young author.  But most 1st - 4th grade students will write short stories at around 10 paragraphs in length.

    In this lesson, you will want to help your student to revise and edit the rough draft of their story.  If at all possible set up a time for peer reviews.  So gather one or more of your students friends or siblings to read through your child's story and give suggestions.  Dads, grandparents, and other adults can participate in this process as well!  You can encourage everyone involved to make this a positive experience by doing two things.

     ~First, explain to your young author that their friends will be giving them suggestions.  A good author will take into consideration the suggestions and critique of their peers, but ultimately the story is up to the author!  However, there is no need for hurt feelings.  Don't forget to explain to the "reviewers" that it is best to be sensitive and encouraging when giving a critique.  You can ask questions like, "Is there any part of the story you didn't understand?" or "Was there a part of the story that you think needed more detail?"

     ~Second, give each reviewer an index card.  On one side write, "What I liked..." on the other side write, "Suggestions".  Be sure that each reviewer writes at least one thing on each side.  I would also encourage that they write one encouraging note for each suggestion they make.

     Once they have received the suggestions from their peers, you will act as your student's "editor".  Help them to decide which suggestions they should take seriously.  Also, read through their stories with them, helping them to correct any spelling and grammatical errors.

     Using the revisions, it is now time for your student to write their final draft.  Remember this is the draft that will go into their "published book".  Your student will want to use their best handwriting or type it.  (You can also type it for them, if they are not comfortable with that yet. )  In our next lesson, your students will decide how they will divide up the text of their story.  They will actually cut and paste parts of their final draft to pages of their "published book" that they will illustrate.

     I hope your students are enjoying writing their short stories!  If you missed them, feel free to check out Lesson 1, Lesson 2, and Lesson 3 of our Young Authors Lessons series. 

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