Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Workshop Wednesday - Cut and Grow Revising

Today I'm linking up with Jessica from Ideas by Jivey Workshop Wednesday.  Today's topic is our favorite writing mini lesson.

Let me first say that until recently writing was always my least favorite and weakest subject to teach.  I have recently started to appreciate the subject and have become a much better writing teacher.

One of my favorite writing mini lesson deals with revising.  I teach that revision improves our writing.  The revision strategy that I use is called cut and grow.

I start by preparing my own piece.  I make sure I use some very weak sentences in my story.  I share my writing and then explain that I now that I have finished my first draft, I now need to look at my work and see how I can make it better.  I select a sentence and grab  a pair of scissors and cut the sentence out of the paper.

After doing this I am left with two pieces of paper: the part of the story before the eliminated sentence and the part of the story after the sentence. I then tape the first part of the story on a piece of large construction paper.

Then I write my new sentence on the construction paper, under the beginning of the story.  I may add more description, more details, vivid verbs, transition words, etc.  After I write my new sentence, I attach the bottom part of the paper.

Here is my picture of the example I did for this mini lesson at the beginning of the year. I think my original sentence was "I hadn't ridden it before."  See how much my sentence grew.

Using this strategy allows students to see how their writing can grow.  They are able to have a hands on experience with their writing and they always love being able to cut their paper.  This strategy makes revising fun for my scholars and provides a visual of what revision is.

Below are some cut and grow examples from later in the year.  My scholars did an amazing job at adding, substituting, and removing parts of their original draft.  They weren't this good at the beginning of the year.  I'm so proud of their growth.


  1. What a great thing for the kids to see. My kiddos love it when I share my writing with them.
    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  2. This is a cool idea!! Thanks for linking up with this! :)
    ideas by jivey

  3. Revision is a very difficult concept for kids to grasp. They like to think that it's "one and done." I like your idea -- it is an awesome visual!

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

  4. I love the cut and grow strategy. :). What a fabulous idea! I'm your newest follower. :)Creating Lifelong Learners