This week we have been working on revision strategies. Yesterday’s lesson, “Showing instead of Telling” has us reading with our eyes wide open. Students are finding examples in their chapter books and trying out the strategy in their own writing. Hip hip hooray! Revision can be a tough sell.
I introduced the strategy with a look at several passages from Owl Moon by Jane Yolen. As we discussed the text, we were imagining what the writing may have looked like prior to revising.
“We went into the woods. The shadows were the blackest things I had ever seen. They stained the white snow. I didn’t ask what kinds of things hide behind black trees in the middle of the night. When you go owling you have to be brave.”
Without the showing details it may have said – It’s really dark in the woods at night. The strong imagery is what makes a rich and pleasing to read story.
I realized that I need to keep better track of my revisions. A large portion of my writing is drafted right on the computer. I revise as I write. When I write in front of my students they can observe me making changes as I think aloud about decisions, but once I save the changes, we have lost the first draft. I do like to sit with my notebook and pencil and write the old fashioned way. Perhaps I should set aside the keyboard for a bit to track my journey as I look for the “write words.”
**A side note…didn’t post last night. My internet was “down.” After a phone call to Time Warner, I now know that I have a button right next to the power button that connects or disconnects the internet. Wow, I have only had this laptop 2+ years…learn something new all the time!