Friday, 26 October 2012

Group Editing

This is an absolutely amazing idea that was shared with me by my colleague Ryan, who is also coincidentally an amazing teacher. It can be used for any writing genre and has been used in the classrooms for grade 3 to grade 6 students. It can definitely also be used for high school students.

As you move through the writing process for a genre, use this activity for the editing and revising  stage of the writing process. 

Students are placed in mixed ability groups of approximately 4-5 students. They work together to edit each other's writing piece. The person whose work is being edited puts their work on the interactive white board and also have a copy printed for themselves. They get to sit in the "teacher chair" with a clipboard, their printed copy and a red pen for corrections. 

One of the other students is the "computer jockey" and is in charge of the whiteboard marker. The other two or three students are editors. They all sit around in a semi circle facing the interactive whiteboard. The "computer jockey" begins to read the writing piece out loud and editors can chime in whenever they think there is a correction that needs to be made. As a group, they decide how to change the error or how to revise the sentence to make it sound better. The group member whose work is being edited, then make changes on their hard copy.

The students loved this activity as they got to take greater ownership of their work and were given more responsibility and control over their learning. Some constraints may be a lack of interactive whiteboards to use. I was lucky that I have one in my room and was able to borrow a TV for another classroom to connect to. This way I could have two groups editing at the same time. While this occurred, other students were either finishing drafting, or publishing once their work was group edited. 

After the group edited the work, the group decided as a whole if the student whose work was edited achieved our writing goals. They then placed a sticky note beside the goal achieved. Most students achieved the majority of the goals and then simply had to go back to their edited draft and add in either "juice language" (descriptive language) or more technical language (so only simple revision).

I absolutely loved doing these writing sessions and the excitement of the students made it even more worth while. 

This activity is easily linked to the e5 model of instruction as students are able to evaluate their work against learning goals and can visually see their improvement and also areas for future improvement. 

This is also a very positive activity for EAL (English as an Additional Language) students in a mainstream class as they are able to receive assistance from native English speakers in a non-intimidating setting and environment since all students are editing each others work.


  1. Miss. A.... I don't think it is a coincidence that you and Mr S. are both great teachers....

  2. MissMac, you definitely fall in the same category!