Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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Workshop 8: Teaching the Power of Revision

Mary Cathryn Ricker's Revision Lesson

Mary Cathryn Ricker observes a student 'mining' for topics in her writer's notebook.
Mary Cathryn Ricker observes a student "mining" for topics in her writer's notebook.

Mary Cathryn Ricker knows her students understand the power of revision when they see the difference on paper before and after, especially after "exploding the moment" from one draft to the next. This revision strategy—developed by Barry Lane and featured in his book After THE END: Teaching and Learning Creative Revision (Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 1993, ISBN: 0435087142)—is a favorite of Mary Cathryn's. She has found that it's an effective technique for helping her students add detail to their writing.

Mary Cathryn also makes her writer's notebook available to her students as well as drafts of her writing so they can see the many different ways writers revise. In the segment featured in Workshop 8, Mary Cathryn models "exploding the moment" in a piece she wrote about a surprise party and in a student example.

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