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Lesson Plan

Prompting Revision through Modeling and Written Conversations

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Prompting Revision through Modeling and Written Conversations

Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Three 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Ashley Thesen

West Hartford, Connecticut


National Council of Teachers of English


Materials and Technology






  • Internet access

  • Computer with projector and speakers

  • Online videos of Debra Frasier and KateDiCamillo describing their writing and revision process

  • Copy of Because of Winn Dixie

  • Oversized lined paper

  • Students' writer's notebooks

  • Piece of writing completed by teacher

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  • Ideally, before engaging in this lesson, students need to have watched their teacher model how to revise his or her work, participated in whole class sharing when the teacher assists students in providing meaningful peer feedback, and participated in student-teacher conferences.  These experiences will provide students with the language necessary to present valuable suggestions when responding to another's work.  Students need to be taught how to move away from using phrases such as "I liked it" and develop more specific criticism that will lead the writer toward improvement, such as, "I like that you used the word slither because it helped create a more precise picture in my mind about how the animal moved." If this prior experience is not available, you will need to scaffold more intensely for these skills and habits of mind throughout the lesson.

  • Select a piece of your own writing you are willing to share and revise in front of your students. In this lesson, student will have an opportunity to observe their teacher during his or her writing process, helping them see that writing (including revising) is be challenging, complex, and recursive.

  • Familiarize yourself with Kate DiCamillo's videos.  This Website shows five drafts of the beginning of the novel, Because of Winn Dixie. Click Next to hear comments about each draft.

  • Make copies of Kate DiCamillo's drafts.  You may want to make a copy of each draft for every student, or you may want students to share.

  • Preview Debra Frasier's videos online and decide which videos would be the most helpful for your students.  Because these videos are hosted by YouTube, you may need to contact your Information Technology department for assistance in accessing them at school.

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