Proofreading, part one.

I noticed that a lot of the fourth graders in my class had trouble with spelling and grammar. I wanted to plan some lessons that would help them improve the overall quality of their writing. I decided that it was time to teach them how to proofread.

In my first lesson, I turned to the white board and started writing as the kids watched.

“Tody is a gud day. I went to resess and playd with my frend. We ran arownd the skool and had fun. Aftir school I desided to bye a CD player so I cud here my favrit song.”

As I wrote, I heard some confused comments in the class behind me.

“Miss, you spelled that wrong!” “What? Is that how you spell…”

Then, as they realized I was doing this on purpose, they started laughing. They laughed and laughed as I wrote each error.

I asked the class if they could see that some things were wrong with my sentences. I let them look at the board and then take turns coming up and fixing one of the errors with my dry erase markers. They had so much fun doing this and, when we had fixed everything, asked if we could do it again. We had time for two more rounds of mistake-filled sentences, and they seemed to really enjoy the process.

I did this again with my second group but added another element. After two rounds of fixing sentences, it seemed that they needed something to change it up. I let two of the kids come to the board and write their own sentences filled with purposeful spelling and grammar mistakes. The rest of the class then continued as usual, with different kids coming up to fix the errors they found.

This was a really fun activity for the kids and a great way to introduce proofreading. Some of the errors I included were easy for them but others were things I had seen the class struggle with (like using here and hear correctly). My plan was to have them eventually proofread and edit their own writing so I wanted to introduce it in a way that was enjoyable and not frustrating.




18 thoughts on “Proofreading, part one.

  1. As a student I had the same issues with proofreading. I was in the “Special” Classes because of my learning disability’s. I wish my teachers would have taken the time to do this with my class I was in.


    1. Hello! Thanks for reading and for sharing about your past experience. I’m sorry it wasn’t a positive one but I really appreciate your encouragement. I hope the kids I work with will have fun with the activities we do and enjoy learning!


      1. Interacting with them is the key making your lesson something they can take part of deffentally will help


  2. We did something like this my senior year of high school. (I know, sad that many 18-year-olds still don’t get it.) Two sentences on the board each day when we walked in that we addressed at the beginning of class, usually referring to a lesson from earlier in the week. Maybe you can make it a regular activity for your children!


  3. This is so great! I work with 6th graders after school, tutoring them in math! I remember when I was younger though that my teacher used to give us a daily warm up where we would have to rewrite 2 sentences correctly, fixing all the mistakes, and she would also give us 3 other grammar problems that somehow related to what we were learning that week! I love your blog by the way!



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