No draft is ever perfect. It was Kelly Gallagher who said writing is never done, it is just due. Right before midwinter recess my students turned in an essay based on their reading of a dystopian novel and I read through all the essay over the break (yes, I know teachers shouldn’t be working over break). Reading through the essays I was able to give quality feedback in the form of “I like, I think, and I wonder.” Additionally, I used feedback as data to develop mini lessons and scaffolds for the places where students could use more support and direction.
Revision is an opportunity to revisit our writing and make it stronger, clearer, more concise. The writer Ernest Hemingway “rewrote the first part of his novel A Farewell to Arms at least 50 times and rewrote the ending of the novel 39 times;” “Hemingway revised so much not because he was a bad writer but because he was a good writer.” I want my students to understand that writing is an on going process and revision is a tool that can help us to to re-vision—or re-see—our work from a new perspective and revise so it can work more effectively. Revision goes beyond just editing for spelling and grammatical errors, it zooms in on the organization of your ideas, your argument and supporting evidence, and the clarity of your ideas and analysis.
I have created this Totally 10 Revision activity to help students try out two or more revision strategies to make their writing stronger. In conjunction with the revision choice board, creating How-To sheets, flipped videos, and graphic organizers helps provide instructional scaffolds that help to break down the essay assignment in smaller bites and helps aid in the mastery of the task.
You can get a copy of this revision choice board here: Essay Revision Totally Ten