Lesson at a Glance

Teacher and students use a rubric to evaluate and improve their editorials. The rubric will serve as a guide as students prepare their editorials for publication.

Prep & Tech

Technology: LCD projector, laptop, Internet access or Writing Editorials CD, student computers with Internet access
In Class Handouts: 2.1b: Editorial Rubric
Other Materials: Student folders, writers’ notebooks, your most updated editorial draft with ideas for revision for the Teacher Model

Limited Tech Options

If there is no access to the technology needed for this lesson, try the following options:

  1. Mini Lesson: Instead of using a computer/LCD projector to model how to use a rubric, display your editorial draft on chart paper.
  2. Writer’s Work Time: Instead of directing students to use computers to revise their drafts, instruct students to make revisions to their drafts on paper.

Objective

Students will identify the strengths and improve the weaknesses of their editorials by using a rubric.

Focusing Question

How can you use a rubric to evaluate and improve your writing?

Mini Lesson (10 min)

Show lesson visuals, Evaluate with the Rubric.

Tell students that the purpose of today’s lesson is to help them make final revisions to their editorials before they publish their writing. Explain the importance of measuring written work against a standard set of criteria.

Show students the Editorial Rubric (Handout 2.1b) and remind them that they have been reviewing their work with this rubric throughout the unit. Now that they have a completed a revised draft, this is simply a chance to look for ways to further strengthen their writing. Review with students the components of the rubric against the four-point scale.

Show students the most recent draft of your editorial or another mentor text. Compare it to each section of the rubric according to the four-point scale, and devise suggestions for improving your score as you continue to revise your writing. Model how to make at least one revision to your draft, making changes based on your rubric score.

Ask a student volunteer to help you determine the score for the next section on the rubric. Encourage him or her to use specific examples from your work and the rubric when assigning a score. Then, ask another student to give you a suggestion for improving your work so that it will achieve a rating of four.

Students work with their most recent version of their editorials stored in the Online Classroom. They rate their editorials against the rubric, and make any revisions to strengthen their work.

Teacher Model

  1. Display the most recent draft of your editorial.
  2. Compare your editorial to each section of the rubric.
  3. Give yourself a score for each component of the rubric.
  4. Explain why you chose the score you did.
  5. Devise suggestions for improving your score as you continue to revise your writing.
  6. Model how to make at least one revision to your draft, making changes based on your rubric score.

Narrative

I’m going to look at my revised editorial and evaluate it using the Editorial Rubric (Handout 2.1b). After I see how strong the different parts of my editorial are, I will try to strengthen any parts that need improvement.

I’ll start with the introduction. To get a four, I need to have opening sentences that grab the reader’s attention. I think I have that after the point of view revisions I made. I also need to give my audience any necessary background information – check – and a clear statement of my opinion – check. I think I can give myself a four on the Introduction because I have everything I need.

Now I am going to look at my supporting argument paragraphs. In the first paragraph, I have a clearly stated supporting argument and one piece of supporting evidence. If I want to make this paragraph even better I have to add one more piece of evidence. I’m going to make a note to take care of that.

Preparing for Writer’s Work Time

Ask students to:

  1. Open the most updated version of their editorials stored in the Online Classroom.
  2. Save their document in a specified location with a new title and date.
  3. Review the Editorial Rubric (Handout 2.1b).
  4. Rate their writing along the four-point scale of each section of the Editorial Rubric (Handout 2.1b).
  5. Improve their writing to address any problems shown by the rubric.
  6. Check their writers’ notebooks for notes about any other revisions they planned to make.
  7. Reread their draft to make sure any changes they have made have not affected the flow of their writing.
  8. Resave their drafts and submit them to the Online Classroom activity titled Submit Your Revised Editorial.

Writer’s Work Time (20 min)

Students work individually, rating and revising their editorials based on the Editorial Rubric (Handout 2.1b). They should also incorporate any of the revision strategies they noted during Step 5. When there are five minutes remaining in Writer’s Work Time, students should resave their documents and then submit them to the assignment, Submit Your Revised Editorial in the Online Classroom. Circulate among the students, guiding them to revise and enrich their writing based on the rubric. Look for two students to share revisions they made during the Lesson Summary.

Individual Conferences: Review students’ editorials. Ask students to be specific when explaining
their self-ratings to assess their understanding of the rubric criteria and their own writing.

Differentiated Instruction Strategies

  1. Struggling to make corrections? Have students review the mentor texts in the Editorials Packet (Handout 1.1a) to look for ways that other writers have addressed similar issues.
  2. Difficulty rating their own writing? Encourage students who have been working in a guided writing group to each become an “expert” on a particular dimension of the rubric and review each other’s writing. Instruct each “expert” to suggest a revision strategy and give it to the writer.
  3. Ready for more? Students can visit the Study Center for additional writing activities such as Opinion Space. Students may also go to Express Yourself in Prof. P’s Office.

Sharing and Lesson Summary (15 min)

Reconvene the class. Choose two students to share how they used the rubric to make specific improvements to their writing. If possible, show students’ work using a computer and LCD projector to the class.

Assessment

Review students’ most recent drafts submitted to the Online Classroom assignment Submit Your Revised Editorial. Check to see whether students revised their writing for clarity and persuasion and whether students' writing improved based on the Editorial Rubric (Handout 2.1b). Use the Teacher’s Checklist to identify what students have completed to this point.

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