“Revision Makes My Students Thirsty” by Noreen Moore

When Noreen Moore asked her students to revise, she found they avoided the task either out of fear of messing up their hard-won first draft, or out of confusion about the process of revision. In this article, Moore offers creative solutions to help students revise their writing.

Among these, she describes inspiring students by bringing other writers into the classroom to talk about writing, their writing process, and especially their revising. The article includes links to  several writers’  resources.  Similarly, Moore suggests having students create a podcast in which they read their writing aloud. Such practices develop metacognition through modeling, and inspire students to identify themselves as writers. Moore also suggests helping students to “play” with their writing. This play can use any number of techniques, even beyond those she suggests, but Moore emphasizes the importance of student choice: they can choose to keep their piece as it was before revising, or choose to keep the revisions.

A similar exercise has students make creations out of play-dough, share with a peer (without explaining the creator’s intent), then revise based on feedback, before explaining a final piece. Just like play-dough, a student’s writing is their own to create and re-shape. Reading their writing aloud and modeling revising with play-dough gives students distance from their work, as well as the authority to revise as they decide is best.

Moore’s resources are easily employed in the writing classroom to address students’ quandaries about revising.  By bringing other writers into the classroom, student writers will begin to understand that the writing process is not so mysterious: all writers revise and develop their writing through a series of drafts.  When students use Moore’s creative ideas to play with their writing, they may even come to enjoy the  process of revising.

Read the full article here: http://blogs.ncte.org/index.php/2015/11/revision-makes-my-students-thirsty/

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