Proofreading Practice Amber Strack Materials

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Proofreading Practice

Amber Strack

Materials: You Are the Editor sheet on overhead and one copy for each student, corrected copy of You are the Editor on overhead, Find the Errors letter on overhead and one copy for each student, a sample of each student’s writing.
Time: 20 - 30 minutes


NCTE Standards

  • Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions (e.g., spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and non-print texts.

NCSCS Standards

  • Competency Goal 6, The learner will apply conventions of grammar and language usage.

  • 6.01 Demonstrate an understanding of conventional written and spoken expression by using a variety of sentence types correctly, punctuating them properly, and avoiding fragments and run-ons.

  • 6.02 Identify and edit errors in spoken and written English by applying proofreading symbols when editing.

Purpose of Mini-Lesson:
The purpose of this mini-lesson is to reintroduce proofreading marks and to demonstrate the way they can be used in the editing process. The lesson could be taught near the end of an early writing assignment when editing is beginning. It could also be used later as editing questions come up. This worksheet will be a valuable resource to keep in a writing notebook. Students can use it to refer back to when they have questions.
The teacher will display You Are the Editor sheet on an overhead projector showing only the editing symbols. The marks will be introduced or reviewed for approximately 2-3 minutes. The teacher will also use this time to discuss the helpfulness of using a colored pencil while editing and the importance of skipping a line to leave room for editing symbols. The teacher will now hand out copies of the You Are the Editor sheet to each student and instruct them read the sample paragraph and follow along as the class corrects the paragraph with proofreading marks. Next the teacher will display the sample paragraph noting the proofreading marks and discussing the process of editing. (2-3 minutes) The teacher will then display the corrected paragraph. (2-3 minutes) The teacher will observe and watch for questions. Finally the teacher will hand out the Find the Errors letter to each student. Working in teams of two or three the students will use editing symbols to correct the letter. When students are finished (after about 5 or 6 minutes) teacher will display the corrected letter on the overhead allowing for time to answer questions from the students. This discussion will take about 6 to 8 minutes. To extend the lesson you may have your students work in pairs and edit samples of their writing.
I am happy to report that our writing process has brought us to the editing stage. At this point your work has a strong foundation and is ready for some polish. Today I am going to introduce (or reintroduce) proofreading marks. These symbols are used as you read through a piece of writing to indicate a spelling or grammatical error in the work. Raise your hand if you recognize any of these symbols (allow time for discussion). Using these marks makes the process of editing easier. It is also helpful to use a colored pencil while editing. This makes your notations easier to pick out. If you skip a line while you write it will leave you more room to make your marks.
Here is a sample paragraph from about parrots. Take a minute to read this paragraph and identify possible errors. Students, who can tell me what the first error is? (Allow time for students to identify errors, make marks and ask questions) Now I will display the corrected paragraph. Doesn’t that look like a more professional piece of writing?
I am now giving you a copy of this Find the Errors letter. Take a few minutes to read the sample sentences and make the appropriate proofreading marks. I will be walking around observing your work and answering any questions that you might have. (Allow time to work and answer questions as needed, students may also work in groups)
Before class I also corrected this letter. (Display corrected letter on the overhead) Raise your hands if you have any additional corrections. (Allow time for discussion) Does anyone have any questions about this process? (Allow time to answer questions as needed) Now you will work with a partner to proofread a piece of writing from you writing folders. I will be walking around to answer questions as they come up.
Follow Up:
Guide students to look for patterns of mistakes that become apparent through their editing.
Related Lessons:

Commonly Misspelled Words

Capitalization Rules
Find the Errors
This letter has plenty of mistakes! Find the mistakes and correct them. Record how many mistakes you found at the end of the page.
dear students

I hope you are enjoing being in my clasroom. I am haveing a food time working with you each day.

What do you think has been the bestest part so far did you like the spelling bea or the writing labs? I like the writeing because it let’s me get to know you beter. I like it when you practice your righting because it makes me sure that you will do good on our riting test.

some of our reading prodjects have been fun to tell me which one was your favorit and we mite trie it again.

Our principle tole me that you kids were super? Now I no that he is write. The next time I see him i will say Mr. Smith, i have the best class ever

Mrs. Strack

How many errors did you find?
Spelling___________________ Capitalization________________________
Punctuation_________________ Other ______________________________

Corrected Letter

Dear students,

I hope you are enjoying being in my classroom. I am having a good time working with you each day.

What do you think has been the best part of our class so far? Did you like the spelling bee or the writing labs? I like the writing because it let’s me get to know you better. I like it when you practice your writing because it makes me sure that you will do good on our writing test.

Some of our reading projects have been fun. Tell me which one was your favorite and we might try it again.

Our principle told me that you kids were super. Now I know that he is right. The next time I see him I will say Mr. Smith, I have the best class ever!

Mrs. Strack

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