I love how Lucy Calkins suggests teaching young writers about revision. The message is plain and clear. Revision is what happens when a writer loves their writing. Regie Routman says, "When kids care about their writing, revising is no big deal." What would happen if my young writers love their writing so much that it's an honor and a joy to revise? Maybe they'd never view it as a necessary evil. <crossing my fingers> Wouldn't that make some English teachers happy?
(Our toolboxes contain revision tools, like tape and purple pens.)
Does their writing always get better when they revise? Uhhh, no. Sometimes they get a little scissor and tape happy and the piece loses its focus. A conference or mini-lesson is most likely the appropriate tactic, but regardless, I still hold to the fact that they're learning it's okay to look again at a piece of writing. Revising is not evil.
Here are some pieces that have been revised. Their revisions are in purple, so I've used purple text for the revised parts in my translations.
One Wednesday morning it was cold. We were on my grandpa's boat. Grandpa said, "Let's fish." "Okay," said Jackson.
Grandpa caught a big fish. There are a lot of fishes.
Jacob caught a bigger fish. It was 41 pounds. It was the biggest fish we have ever seen.
One sunny morning I went to the BMX track. It was scary because I was 3 years old.
I crashed. I was bleeding very bad.
My grandma said, "Are you okay?" My grandpa came to help me to get in the car.
One cold Tuesday morning my mom and I set up the Christmas tree. I said, "Can I help?" "No."
We put a star on. It was sparkly. "I like it." "Me too."
Mom took the star off. It was too big. "I agree."
We decorated it. "It's cool," mom said. "It is!"
One sunny day me and my dad went on a bike ride. It was fun.
I almost tripped on the cement. It was scary.
I tripped on my bike. I cried. My dad and mom came and my dad picked me up and put me on the couch and put cartoons on for me. Then I was feeling better. My head was hurting. Then I can ride my bike again.
I was riding my scooter. I was going really fast and I was getting wobbly. I said, "Whoa."
I fell down. I was bleeding. "Waa, Waa," I said. "My knee hurts."
My mom came. She gave me a Band-Aid but it still hurt.
I sure pray they always have this much love and respect for their writing. It's an honor to revise, whether using the color of king and queens or not.