A reader’s first impression of a writer is his or her language use. In this lesson, students and their groups will work to make sure that their final drafts make the best impression possible: they’ll edit each other’s work for language use, spelling, and punctuation.
- Read the lesson and student content.
- Anticipate student difficulties and identify the differentiation options you will choose for working with your students.
Language Use and Conventions
- The purpose of this activity is for students to see the value of polishing their writing with care.
- Review Language Use and Conventions with your students after they have had time to correct the sentences; discuss the importance of this day’s editing.
- Feel free to adapt this activity depending on the particular needs of your students. You may have noticed trends in their writing that are not reflected here but that need to be addressed.
Your use of language is the first and only impression your readers have of you as a writer. It’s important to be very careful so that your ideas don’t get lost in a sea of distracting errors.
Read Language Use and Conventions. Then apply what you read to correct the following sentences.
- “_ (Your/You’re) so lazy,” Okonkwo told Nwoye. “I’m ashamed you are my son.”
- Okonkwo believed that the tribe had lost _ (it’s/its) ferocity and strength.
- “Look over (there/their/ they’re)!” said Obierika. “ (There/Their/They’re) about to attack.”
- Angry and violent, Ekwefi feared Okonkwo would hit her.
- Thinking about everything that had happened in Umuofia, exile seemed very long to Okonkwo.
- Each member of Okonkwo’s family did their part to prepare for the feast.
- Okonkwo thought that his daughter should of been a boy.
Review your responses with your classmates.
Peer Response Groups
- You can circulate during this time. Listen in to some conversations; encourage groups to be specific in their feedback.
- SWD: Be sure that all SWDs are able to engage in this activity productively. If they need extra time, allow them to work a little longer.
- Again, place a timer so that it is visible to the class, and remind students when it is time to switch to the next writer.
- Once again, you may modify this protocol to suit your class's skills and needs. Consider having students read and critique work silently rather than aloud.
- ELL: Remind students who come from cultures where critiquing is not regarded as something positive that in this country we appreciate clear and specific feedback, and we consider it an important element in improving ourselves and our work.
Your work with your group today is very important: this is the final edit that you’ll get before your narrative is ready for publication. You’ll follow a similar procedure to your previous work with your group, with each writer reading his or her work aloud as the editors follow along. This time, you’re focusing on word choice, language use, and readability.
- Identify any sentences, phrasings, and so on, that you particularly like: they may say a lot in few words; they may show something important about the characters, conflicts, or themes; or they may just resonate with you for some reason. Write a comment explaining why you like these phrases.
- Identify anything that you find a little confusing or that you are unsure about. These could be places where the writer needs to be more specific, or needs to say something more clearly, or where you think the grammar or spelling may be incorrect. Write a comment explaining your confusion.
- Identify examples of strong, descriptive language or active verbs.
- Underline any spelling or grammatical errors that you notice.
- Identify any changes you see from the previous draft that you particularly like.
After the reading and giving feedback, each group member should give one piece of “warm” feedback and one piece of “cool” feedback to the writer.
Steps to Accomplish
- Help students understand the amount of time they have left, and help them set concrete and achievable goals for this time period.
Reflect on your group’s feedback. You’ll have one more lesson and time at home to finish your final revision.
- List the steps you still need to accomplish and put together a timeline for accomplishing these steps.
Share this with your teacher.
Your Character Narrative
- You may want to help students set goals about what to accomplish before the next lesson.
- Work on your final revision.
You’ll have one more class period to finish.