Mini-Mentors for Revision

By now, you’ve met Sam. Isn’t she a delight? I continue to win the co-worker lottery. I used to teach next door to Allison. Now, Sam teaches directly across the hall from me + stuns me with her brilliance and insight on a daily basis.

Last year, at the height of COVID school and the depths of COVID-teacher brain fog, Sam looked at me one day and said, “If there are mentors for writing products, there have to be mentors for writing processes. Right?”

Um, right. Right?

I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.

Of course. We teach both process and product, so we must be able to use the habits and hacks of professional writers to guide and inspire both process and product.

This month, my students and I are engaged in a revision study. (Members of the Moving Writers Community have access to my entire unit!) Students get to write absolutely, positively anything they want to write, and our mini-lessons are focused on a variety of revision strategies. This inspired me to start looking for some mentors for the revision portion of the writing process — a constant bugaboo for my students.

The format of these mini-mentors will look familiar, but the contents are a bit different. Here, you’ll find a collection of quotes from writers giving a specific strategy for revision.

Rather than making noticings about how the writing is put together, students are reading the quote and noticing the STRATEGY — making a how-to for revision.

This month, I’ve included a master for you — the strategies that I would pull from these quotes. But your students might notice something different, and that’s okay, too!

Grab a blank copy for your students and a copy of the master!

You can use these in a variety of ways — just like every month — but here’s what I’m going to do:

  • Print each quote in a large font + glue to a piece of chart paper.
  • Post the chart paper around the room / down the hall.
  • Let students do a brief gallery walk of sorts in which they read the quote with a partner, extrapolate a strategy, and jot it on the chart paper.
  • We’ll debrief as a group so they can add strategies to their own copy of the chart above.
  • Students will commit to trying a few of these in addition to the whole-class revisions strategies we’re learning in our mini-lessons.

Want More?

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