Students in all grade levels use writing checklists to reflect and revise their writing. These student friendly checklists define what craft, elaboration and structure look like in the following genres: narrative, informational and persuasive.
This week fifth graders used their writing checklists to revise their personal narratives and fourth graders used them to improve their realistic fiction stories. Students worked with writing partners to find evidence from their own work that exemplified each element. They also provided feedback on how additional details or elements could be added. See an example from fifth grader Bryce Berkey and the grade level checklist below.
By Bryce Berkey
We were going up the lift, “ clunk, clunk, clunk.” Every bone in my body was shaking like I was about to freeze to death. It was raining a little bit, enough to make things slippery. I was so scared to go down a big bumpy mountain on a bike! We were almost to the top “ clunk, clunk clunk.” My dad was very excited, and he saw I was nervous and he laughed a little.
It was like my first time going snowboarding on a black diamond. My heart was racing the whole way down, I hit lots of obstacles. I had the same feeling like I was about to freeze. As we approached the top of the mountain I felt a lot better better because my dad said, “ You can do this easy stuff.” It did look really easy. I was really excited.
In a blink of an eye were heading down the mountain like that! As we went down the mountain we hit some hard, big steps. I mean they were almost 15 inches tall! It might not seem like much, but when I was halfway through my heart was pounding like a foot was kicking my chest as hard as it could! I was so relieved that I didn't fall.
In a flash I almost fell again, but this time it was a big stump that I went over. This time I felt more confident of not falling, and I didn’t which I was less surprised about. It was like finishing a small book after reading the hardest book ever. It felt like that at least.
Just ahead of the stump, there was a big forest, and I was going too fast into it! I was about to go into the trees so I tried to turn the other way. My heart was racing like it was going a hundred miles per hour on a huge downhill. My bike didn’t stay stable and it wobbled a lot until I fell down. I slid down the little hill. It felt like I just fell after going down a five foot ramp.
A few minutes passed, and we were out of the trees. I was zooming down the mountain too fast. Not estimating my speed and the 10 little small bumps, I fell hard. It almost felt like I jumped off my bike. I was so scared. Walking my way out of the weeds, I fell down again. I sat down and said angrily, “I'm done, I’m done, I’m done!” It was raining really hard now and I was really upset.
After a few seconds of silence, my dad said, “You don’t have to ride your bike if you don’t want to, you can walk it.” It was really boring as I walked, but I didn’t want to fall again so I kept walking to the easy part, which was a snake trail. I then got back on my bike. I started to pedal. I was so ready! I went down the first side not slowing down making the first turn successful. I was going down the second hill and again I was going too fast. I knew it was too slippery to turn. I went straight into the weeds. It was so wet that I got up quickly and started to go again.
I finally made it to the easy downhill road. It was still pouring. I was a little nervous. My dad said, “You are going to be fine.” I went down confidently and easily. When we started back I realized that I could've got back on my bike. All I needed was more confidence to get back on and keep going. And I thought to myself, that is with anything in life.