LESSON PLAN for group editing

Language Focus/Skill(s): Writing
Teaching Objectives: To develop the students’ ability to edit their own work and
that of their colleagues.
Learning Outcomes: Given sentences produced by students themselves, the students
will be able to detect and correct language use errors
Prior Knowledge: This activity should be planned for a point in the semester when
students will have already worked on the important areas of grammar, particularly those
problematic areas that still bedevil them.
Anticipated Problems: Two problems:
The first is that students may fail to detect the errors they are supposed to correct
or may correct already correct grammar. To ensure this does not happen, student
groups should be very carefully balanced, so that they include strong language
users with weaker students.
The second problem is that students may feel embarrassed or feel that they have
been singled out when they see their own sentences. The teacher should make
very sure that s/he selects sentences from every essay and that the sentences are
all potentially effective sentences once the errors are corrected.
A Teacher-made list of sentences selected from one batch of student essays. There
should be one or two sentences from every essay. and the sentences should be
edited minimally by the teacher in such a way that the focus will be on an error
from a problematic area of language use or on errors that require an explanation
from the teacher. The sentences should not feature more than one or two
significant errors.
Data show or overhead projector.
STAGE 1: Group proofreading
Purpose: To help sensitize students to common errors
Time: 20 mins.
Teacher’s Task:
Teacher introduces task, explains criteria for selecting sentences and gives
students clear directions for task. S/he then forms students in well-balanced
groups of 3-4 students, and makes sure that they understand the task and that all
students are actively engaged on it.
Students’ Task and Interaction:
Students work together to correct as many sentences as they can, calling on the
teacher only when there is a difference of opinion about the best ways to correct
sentences or when they are stymied.
STAGE 2: Class editing and discussion
Purpose: To explore alternative ways of correcting the same errors and of expressing the
same ideas.
Time: 20mins.
Teacher’s Task:
Teacher projects same sentences and elicits from groups their alternative ways of
correcting errors. If need be, teacher makes use of board to explain any grammar
points that most students have difficulty with. Teacher also elicits reasons why
corrected sentence now effective.
Students’ Task and Interaction:
Students suggest ways of correcting the errors they detect and explain why they
made the correction. Each group contributes its own corrected version and thus
the entire class explore together the various ways that the same idea can be
STAGE 3: Wrap-up
Purpose: To raise students’ awareness of their own language use problems.
Time: 5-6 mins.
Teacher’s task:
Teacher gives each student a small note card and asks each student to make a
short list (5-6 items) of the types of errors they failed to detect and which they
think constitute a problem for them. This card they will consult the next time they
are editing their own writing.
Students’ Task and Interaction:
Students make a list of their own language problems and show it to their teacher.
In compiling their list, they can consult with members of their own group.
Students are assigned the remaining sentences on the handout for homework.
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