(This posting includes a links handouts which you are welcome to use with your students.)
This posting is a more detailed response to my interview question on Day 4 LINCS Discussion: Student-Centered Approach to Teaching Writing Skills. .
Below in blue, you’ll find the details that I’ve added to the Day 4 LINCS’ posting.
I have some interactive activities that I include during each writing unit.
They do give variety to a writing class, but more importantly, they are effective in helping students develop their writing and editing skills.
1) Writer-in-control peer editing. Type 1: Writers prepare questions.
In traditional peer-editing activities, the students read a classmate’s essay and give feedback by filling out a teacher-provided questionnaire, rubric or checklist. (For example, “Is the topic sentence clear?” “Are the verb tenses correct?”)
For this non-traditional approach below, the writers have control over the type of feedback they want. Here are the steps:
Step 1: (A model) Sample essay and peer editing questions. In order to demonstrate to students how they will peer-edit with a classmate and the type of questions that they can ask, they work with a model essay with peer editing questions that the “writer” has asked.
(See link to a model exercise below.) After working with a sample, they then apply this technique to their own essays, starting with the Preparation Step.
Step 2: Preparing for Peer Editor. After students have written their essays, they identify specific parts of it in which they’d like a peer’s advice. These could be about the grammar in some sentences, clarification of an example, a need to add details etc. On a separate piece of paper, they write questions about these parts that they will ask a peer-editor. For example, “Look where I wrote #1. Is my example clear?” “Look where I have #4. Is there a problem with this sentence?” “Look at #8. How can I improve my conclusion?”