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4. The Craft of Revision by Lucy Calkins and Pat Bleichman

Good writing deserves to be revised. In this unit, Pat and Lucy offer lessons to teach children both how and why to revise their work. As children learn how to use cross-out lines, carat marks and stapled extra strips of paper, they also learn that honing or adding details, images, and dialogue, for example, can improve the quality of their writing.

  • PART ONE:
  • Learning the Basics of Revision
  • PART TWO:
  • Learning Qualities of Good Writing
  • PART THREE:
  • Preparing for Publication
    PART ONE: Learning the Basics of Revision
    Session I: Introducing Revision
    In this session you'll show children how you reread a story you've written, and you'll solicit their suggestions for how you can revise by adding more details to that story.
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    Session II: Adding into the Middles of Texts
    In this session, you will introduce tools a writer uses to insert new text into the midst of his or her draft.
    Session III: Adding Dialogue
    You'll emphasize in this session that writers revise for reasons, and one reason might be to show characters talking.
    Session IV: Revising by Taking Away
    In this session, you will teach children that revision can involve taking writing away from a draft as well as adding writing to a draft.
    Session V: Planning Revision
    In this session you'll encourage children to reread and assess their writing to make plans for revision.
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    PART TWO: Learning Qualities of Good Writing
    Session VI: Revising Leads
    Your goal in this session is to raise children's awareness and knowledge of effective leads, and to help them include rewriting leads as part of their revision process.
    Session VII: Teaching Children to Confer About Writing
    In this session you'll teach writers that when you ask, "What are you working on as a writer?" you expect their answer to include not just the name of their subject, but also their goals as a writer.
    Session VIII: Showing, Not Telling
    In this session, you'll teach children that when they revise, they need particular goals, and you'll suggest that an essential quality of good writing is showing instead of telling.
    Session IX: Learning More About Showing, Not Telling
    You'll use children's literature in this session to illustrate the value of making images in writing.
    Session X: Revising Endings
    In this session, you'll remind your students that endings merit revision.
    Session XI: Revising While Writing
    You'll teach children in this session that they can write new pieces, revising as they go.
    Session XII: Partnering for Revision
    In this session you'll teach children to rely more on one another when revising their pieces.
    Session XIII: Revising One's Genre
    You'll teach children in this session that sometimes a writer revises by reshaping writing into a different genre: from a letter to a poem, from a story to a song, and so on.
    Session XIV: Learning Revision from Authors
    In this session you'll teach children that they can learn from other authors when revising their pieces.
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    PART THREE: Preparing for Publication
    Session XV: Preparing to Celebrate
    In this session, the children will choose a piece that they have revised to share at the celebration, affixing sticky notes that say "ask me" to spots in their writing that reveal learning about revision.
    Session XVI: Setting Up a Revision Museum: An Author's Celebration
    In this session's celebration, children will each have their own "booth," and visitors will be invited to move about the room reading and talking to the children about their work and learning about revision.
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