K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

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Learning outcomes

Students will:

  • learn to ask revision questions in a peer conference.
  • learn to answer revision questions.
  • learn to insert new information into their draft.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

1 hour


  • Trip to Disney World story (pdf | rtf) (or a first draft of your own writing)
  • 2 blank transparencies and overhead pen
  • Sticky notes (2 x 3 inches) or larger
  • Students’ stories

Technology resources

Overhead Projector



  1. Tell students that you are going to show them a strategy for having a conference with another student. You will play the role of the author, and the whole class will play the role of the audience.
  2. Read the first paragraph of the “Trip to Disney World” story (or your first draft) aloud and tell your students to write down one question about that paragraph that they would like to know more about.
  3. Ask students to share some of their questions. Write their revision questions on the transparency. Pick one revision question to use for an example, such as “Who went on the trip with you?”
  4. On a sticky note, draw a circle in the middle and write the question you chose in the middle. Place the sticky note on the transparency near where you want to insert the information. Draw 4 lines (legs) from the question and give 4 answers to the question for your audience (the class). For example:
    • “My mom and dad, my great-grandmother, my brother, my aunt and my two cousins.
    • “There were 8 of us in the van.”
    • “My cousin Marie is my best friend.”
    • “My great-grandmother had never been to Disney World.”

    Ask students to visualize the scene with the added information. Does this make it easier for them (as the audience) to visualize the scene in their minds?

  5. Read the second paragraph and ask students to write down more revision questions. Repeat the above procedure using a second sticky note, drawing 4 lines from the question and answering it, then placing the sticky note on the spot where you will add the information. Have students visualize the scene with the new information.

Guided Practice

  1. Have students work with a partner and read each other’s drafts.
  2. Give each student 2 or 3 sticky notes.
  3. Have the first student (the author) read aloud the first paragraph (or 3-4 sentences) of their draft. Then have the second student (the audience) draw a circle in the middle of their first sticky note and write a question about a part of the author’s story that would be helpful to know more about. Place the sticky note on the paper near the selected part.
  4. Have the author draw 4 lines (legs) from the circled question on the sticky note and answer each question for their partner.
  5. Continue reading aloud the first story and asking and answering revision questions in two more places in the story.
  6. After 5 minutes, have second student become the author and repeat the procedure for the second student’s draft.
  7. Have students revise their drafts by inserting the new information in three places in their drafts.


Can students:

  • ask revision questions in conference with partners?
  • insert new information into their drafts?

  • Common Core State Standards
    • English Language Arts (2010)
      • Writing

        • Grade 3
          • 3.W.5 With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing.
        • Grade 4
          • 4.W.5 With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing.

North Carolina curriculum alignment

English Language Arts (2004)

Grade 3

  • Goal 4: The learner will apply strategies and skills to create oral, written, and visual texts.
    • Objective 4.08: Focus reflection and revision (with assistance) on target elements by:
      • clarifying ideas.
      • adding descriptive words and phrases.
      • sequencing events and ideas.
      • combining short, related sentences.
      • strengthening word choice.

Grade 4

  • Goal 4: The learner will apply strategies and skills to create oral, written, and visual texts.
    • Objective 4.08: Focus revision on a specific element such as:
      • word choice.
      • sequence of events and ideas.
      • transitional words.
      • sentence patterns.