Editing and Revising in Kindergarten

After learning about editing and revising — I found myself consistently thinking back on my prior kindergarten classes. My past students haven’t had difficulty with editing, especially scaffolded editing (with a helper [my assistant, another student, myself]). If someone else notices a mistake (especially if it’s a classmate/peer), the mistake is quickly fixed and typically won’t be a reoccurring “blooper.” The peer-editing process has proven itself to be quite powerful in my kindergarten classrooms.

Revising…however, is a different story. My kiddos in the past have had the hardest time looking back at the CONTENT of their writing and making it more meaningful or descriptive. Especially in writing workshop (working in their sketchbooks, or if it’s later in the year…journals), they seem to finish a piece and want to move quickly to the next without refining their previous work. It has been quite frustrating for me, because I’ve never found a way “teach” them to “want” better, more quality work.

The Green Monster activity…however, could ease my frustration. What a simple way to teach revision? This activity begins with discussion about possibilities. My tech group and I had lots of fun with our ideas…we came up with some pretty “off-the-wall” circumstances. If “grown women” can come up with such interesting concepts, I can only image what my five and six year olds would come up with. I think this inquiry-approach is not only motivating but it is also scaffolding. It sets the blueprint for revision of a simple story and gets the brain “juices” flowing. I was beyond ready to revise the Green Monster story after discussing “off-the-wall” ideas with my tech-group. Had we not discussed via Skype, I wouldn’t have known where to begin.

I will certainly try this activity with my kinders…I may change the story a bit to make it more age-appropriate, but the concepts and revision strategies will still be taught. What a powerful use of the imagination to evoke more descriptive, quality writing. 🙂

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