Revision is a key in teaching writing well. Not only do we need to help students understand the revision step of the writing process, but we must also go back and revise our old lessons to make them fresher and smarter and better. I've learned so much more about student writers since originally posting the lesson at WritingFix, and I am thrilled to be presenting my latest version of this lesson, which I still use every year. It's one of my students' favorite lessons, and--more importantly--it's one of my favorite lessons.
I meet too many teachers who can't tell me what their favorite writing lesson is, and to me, a teacher without a favorite writing lesson is incapable of making writing an enjoyable experience in the classroom. If you're a teacher without a favorite lesson, try this one out early on next school year. Believe me, it works. And it teaches students important skills that I guarantee are in your state's standards.
Additionally, this lesson helps students see the value of a writer's notebook as a tool for beginning small ideas that are worth exploring.