Tag Archives: revision

Time for Revision: NPM20 Day 15

On day 15 of our poem-a-day challenge I invited my students to revise.  In this remote learning environment my usual revision strategies–class brainstorming, working with peer partners, individual conferring–were not in play.

I spent some time thinking about ways to help my students understand HOW to revise, what concrete steps they might take to improve a poem written earlier this month.  So I started by thinking about some characteristics of effective poetry.  The use of simile and metaphor, sensory images, the use of vivid verbs and carefully selected details, personification, sound words…you get the idea.  I create a chart of these poetry elements for my students to select from as they considered a revision.  And I videotaped myself giving some directions…and thinking aloud about my own revision.

I reminded students to pick a poem they cared about–but not the one they love the best.  I wanted them to want to make changes!  Then I asked them to pick one or two elements from the chart to use for their revision.  I demonstrated with my own poem–stopping the video to do my own revisions–and then reading the new version at the end.  And because we revise when we have a reason, the point of this revision was to use the revised poem in our project…to make a narrated version of the revised poem using Adobe Spark Video.  I also asked for students to submit the “before” and “after” versions of the poem in our Google Classroom.

I selected my poem Waterworks to revise:

Waterworks

In this place where skies
are desert dry and sapphire blue

water pours
rushing down streets pooling on lawns

snails skate
down sidewalks worms
rise up
birds duck and cover

and I walk soaking up
sky tears breathing in water-saturated air

fully submerged in today’s
waterworks

®Douillard

I thought about how I might incorporate sound into my poem and a simile.  As I revised, I found that my ending wanted to change, making myself a part of the waterworks I was describing.  (I did have a student tell me he liked my original better than the revision!)

Waterworks (revision)

In this place
where skies are often
dry
and as blue as the jeans I wear walking in my neighborhood

water pours

sploosh-shushing down sloping streets

pooling like soup bowls on once dry lawns

snails skateboard
down slippery sidewalks
worms
rise up
bird—sensing danger—duck and cover

and I keep walking

soaking up sky tears

that mix with my own

and I become a part of today’s
waterworks

®Douillard

 

In our remote learning environment, my students worked at their own pace.  They decided when to work on revision, when to work on math…  After a while I started to notice the revisions coming in.

I love it when my students get it!  And even more so, when this complex task works out in this remote learning environment.  I picked a few to share with you.  Here is K’s revision:

Kylies revision

R’s revision resulted in a slightly new…and musical focus:

Remys revision

And P’s revision brings an interesting new simile into play:

Patricks revision

Now the challenge will be to keep both the poetry writing and the revision going as we continue through the month.  I’ll be thinking up some more reasons to revise…at least one poem each week to keep practicing revision, and hopefully internalize more poetry elements as well.

I’d love to hear your revision stories.  How does revision work in your classroom?  With your writing?  In this remote learning environment?  And the snail is to remind myself that writing can be a slow process…that you have to stick with it, stay on the path…and that you carry all you need on your back and in your heart!

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One Word from Sophia, it’s Destiny!

Sometimes you know at first sight that you were destined to meet.  That happened to me today.

The SDAWP Summer Institute (SI) is in full swing, which means my head is full and my schedule is packed.  There is lots of reading and writing and thinking and talking going on…and I love it. Today at lunch I had a few minutes to myself, so I headed off to the coffee shop to treat myself to a latte. When I walked in and saw that there was no line, I immediately thought–jackpot!  I can take a few minutes and walk through the bookstore, just to look.

Coffee in hand, I headed toward the children’s book section.  And there it was…

I couldn’t resist.

One Word from Sophia by Jim Averbeck and Yasmeen Ismail grabbed me and wouldn’t let go!

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I was drawn in by this brilliant little girl who knows what she wants…and has a plan to get it.

Sophia’s birthday was coming up, and she had five things on her mind–One True Desire and four problems.

This girl is a student of rhetoric and knows how to make an argument.  She knows her audience and how to tailor her reasoning and evidence (love the variety and types!) to convince.  And she takes her feedback as information essential for revision and iteration.

I don’t want to spoil the story by giving away all the details here…but if you are a teacher of writing, of argument, of debate…or just love a great story…you will want to read and study and probably even own this book!

And there’s more…rich vocabulary, compelling characters, and a surprising ending.  And this is not a book just for children.  I can see community college instructors using this book in their composition classes and kindergarten teachers too.  And you don’t have to be a teacher…this is a book for readers and definitely for writers.

I think this will be a relationship that will endure…right now, it’s love at first sight!

Here’s Jim talking about the story:

One Shot, Two Ways…Revision, Photo Style

One of the benefits of blogging is that other people like and follow my blog…and when they do that I often take a glimpse at what they are blogging about–it’s a lot like my experience with the CLMOOC.  Yesterday shotwithmyphone.com liked my blog post and I spent some time perusing the photos he posts…all shot with his iPhone (like me!).  One of his posts was titled One Shot, Two Ways and is part of a challenge posted here.  The challenge invites photographers to take two photos of the same shot–one with a vertical orientation and one with a horizontal orientation and to post them side by side.

Inspired by those ideas (and looking at a few photos) I decided to try a variation on that theme and show two views of the same photo–one original and one with some editing and filters applied.  In some ways the editing process I apply to my photos feels a lot like revision in the writing process.  It’s the part of the process where I zoom in (or out), crop out distracting details, brighten up the setting, or change the mood.  In many cases, revision in writing and editing in photography transforms the end product and helps the reader/viewer see it differently.

Here’s are a couple from my beach walk on Sunday:

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photo-10turtle

And here’s a couple from yesterday’s excursion to the Living Coast Discovery Center:

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There are times when I post my photos without editing, but I like experimenting with how to take a photo and work with it to convey the message I have in mind–or one that emerges as I play with it.

What do you think?  How does the editing change the way you see the photo?  How does it change the message of the image?  How does this relate to writing and writing instruction?  I’d love to know your thoughts!