Be Your Own Editor

April 01, 2016

Good writing can become great when your child revises his reports or stories to make them clearer and more creative. Suggest that he use these strategies to analyze and improve his writing..

Encourage your youngster to think of his rough draft as a room of furniture that can be moved around. He should ask himself whether the paragraphs are in a logical order and if any sentences belong in a different section. In a geography report, for example, he might move a sentence about population density into a paragraph on access to clean water. Idea: Have him mark up his draft in red pen, circling parts to move and drawing arrows to where they will go.

Tell your child to look for places to make his writing more eye-catching or informative. He could insert details, quotes, or examples to add supporting facts or explanations. For a report on the history of the automobile, he may decide to open with a Henry Ford quote and add descriptions of assembly line jobs to a paragraph about the factories.

Your youngster can improve his paper by varying his words. Suggest that he read his work aloud and highlight words he has repeated often, such as saw, can, or went. Have him list different options for each, reread the sentences substituting the new words, and pick the ones he likes best. In a creative writing piece about a teenage explorer, he might substitute spotted for saw or dashed for went.

For more great ways you can work together with your child for learning success, be sure to check out this month’s Reading Connection Newsletters for grades K-2¬†and grades 3-5.

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