Editing at Westwood
This year at Westwood one of our aims is to teach the children to become better ‘editors’ of their writing. Effectively editing a piece of work can often be a difficult skill to master. Being able to identify where you have made mistakes and know how to improve something you have already finished can be difficult. However editing a piece of writing is something that all adults do, sometimes on a daily basis depending on where they work. For this reason we believe that the children at Westwood should learn to become independent editors of their own work by the time they leave Westwood. The editing process involves children drawing upon everything they have learnt up to that given point. This can often be overwhelming for children and therefore time to reflect and prompts from teachers can often be needed. In order for children to become independent, effective editors direct teaching of this skill is needed. For this reason, at Westwood children will be taught how to edit in a variety of ways.
Children will learn to edit through short editing lessons and use these skills in editing station lessons. Throughout each half term, children will have short editing lessons where they will focus on a different editing skill such as improvement of vocabulary or removal of unnecessary description. Twice a half term, children will have the opportunity to complete some ‘deeper editing’ of a piece of writing. This will involve the children rotating around four stations, two of which they will be led by an adult, to edit sections of their writing. The aim of this is to impact on subsequent pieces of work and encourage the children to always think of ways to improve their writing to have the most impact on the intended audience.
Editing station lessons allow the children with the opportunity to apply the skills gained in the editing lessons to improving their writing. This type of editing takes up the time of a complete lesson and takes place twice a half term. It is planned for in detail using the editing lesson planning format and resourced well to give the children support when improving their work. Within an editing stations lesson, the children rotate around 4 stations with a different focus on each. All children edit the same piece of writing during this time with areas of it chosen by the teacher for improvement.
E1 – Station 1
E2 – Station 2
E3 – Station 3 Working with teacher
E3 – Station 4 Working with TA
This will be a planned editing lesson to teach the skills needed to be an effective editor. The teaching of editing can take place in a variety of ways, across different genres and using different writing objectives. However the ultimate goal within these editing lessons is to help the children in your class make progress. Therefore tailoring these lessons to your class’s specific needs is crucial.
Ways to teach editing
- Share a paragraph on the whiteboard that has been pre-written. Devise a checklist as a class for what they think would improve it. Edit the paragraph as a class.
- Share a printed paragraph with each of the children and display on the board. Give children instructions for what to add or remove.
- Share a paragraph either printed or displayed on the board that is an example of a ‘good one’ or ‘bad one’. Children to identify why it is good or what needs to be improved.
- Share a paragraph that is a ‘good one’. They need to answer questions about why it was good or bad e.g. What helped you understand what the character’s personality was like?
- Give each group a paragraph and edit it together using techniques they will use independently when completing editing stations.