Revising Narrative Texts: Editing Conventions and Writing a Second Draft | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA G4:M2:U3:L13

Revising Narrative Texts: Editing Conventions and Writing a Second Draft

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These are the CCS Standards addressed in this lesson:

  • W.4.5: With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing.
  • L.4.2: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
  • L.4.2a: Use correct capitalization.
  • L.4.2b: Use commas and quotation marks to mark direct speech and quotations from a text.
  • L.4.2d: Spell grade-appropriate words correctly, consulting references as needed.

Daily Learning Targets

  • I can check my peers' work for correct spelling, capitalization, and punctuation. (W.4.5, L.4.2a, L.4.2b, L.4.2d)
  • I can write a new draft of my narrative incorporating all of my revisions and teacher feedback. (W.4.5, L.4.2a, L.4.2b, L.4.2d)

Ongoing Assessment

  • Choose-your-own-adventure narrative (second draft) (W.4.5, L.4.2a, L.4.2b, L.4.2d)


AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Research Reading Share (5 minutes)

B. Reviewing Learning Targets (10 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Editing for Conventions (10 minutes) 

B. Reviewing Feedback from Mid-Unit 3 Assessment (10 minutes)

C. Writing Second Draft of Narratives (20 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Preparing for the End of Unit 3 Assessment (5 minutes)

4. Homework

A. Accountable Research Reading. Select a prompt to respond to in the front of your independent reading journal.

Purpose of lesson and alignment to standards: 

  • In the Opening, students share what they have read and learned from their independent reading texts. This sharing is designed as another measure for holding students accountable for their research reading completed for homework. This volume of reading promotes students' growing ability to read a variety of literary and informational texts independently and proficiently (RI.4.10, RL.4.10, SL.4.1).
  • During work time, students read each other's narratives to identify issues with conventions (spelling, punctuation, capitalization). They also receive teacher feedback from their Mid-Unit 3 Assessments and then write a new draft of their narrative, incorporating all of the revisions and teacher feedback. (L.4.2 and W.4.5)
  • The research reading students complete for homework will help to build both their vocabulary and knowledge pertaining to animals and specifically animal defenses. By participating in this volume of reading over a span of time, students will develop a wide base of knowledge about the world and the words that help to describe and make sense of it.
  • In this unit, the habits of character focus are working to become ethical people and working to become effective learners. They are reminded of the characteristic: integrity when sharing their independent reading books, and the characteristic: taking responsibility as they reflect on the revising and editing process of their narratives.

How it builds on previous work: 

  • In Lessons 9-12, students worked to revise their narratives for various features, including strong organization, word choice, use of dialogue and transitional words, and satisfying conclusions. This is the final lesson in which students will revise their narratives.
  • Continue to use Goals 1-3 Conversation Cues to promote productive and equitable conversation.

Areas where students may need additional support: 

  • Given the 1-hour time constraint, there is limited time for re-teaching and repeated practice of the skills required in the language standards. As a result, students may need additional instruction on language conventions such as capitalization during the Additional Language and Literacy block. 

Assessment Guidance: 

  • Be prepared to return the Mid-Unit 3 Assessments in this lesson with feedback.
  • Consider using the Writing Informal Assessment: Writing and Language Skills Checklist (Grade 4) during students' writing in Work Times A and C. See the Tools page.
  • Collect in the Ordering Adjectives I homework (Lesson 11). See Ordering Adjectives I (answers, for teacher reference).

Down the road: 

  • In the next lesson, students will complete the End of Unit 3 Assessment, in which they write Choice #2 of their choose-your-own-adventure narratives on-demand. Then, in the final lesson of the module, students revise their edited drafts from this lesson and combine them with their writing from the End of Unit 3 assessment to publish their performance task.

In Advance

  • Prepare a research reading share using with the Independent Reading: Sample Plan document, or using your own independent reading routine.
  • Post: Spelling Conventions, Capitalization Conventions, and Punctuation Conventions anchor charts; learning targets.

Tech and Multimedia

  • Work Times A and C: If students are creating their writing on a shared doc such as a Google Doc, ask them to color code the revisions they make in red text or highlight revisions in red.
  • Work Times A and C: Students complete their revisions in a word processing document, for example a Google Doc using Speech to Text facilities activated on devices, or using an app or software like

Supporting English Language Learners

Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standards 4.I.C.10, 4.I.C.12, 4.II.A.1

Important points in the lesson itself

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs with opportunities to receive and respond to teacher feedback on language errors.
  • ELLs may find it challenging to incorporate the feedback. If necessary, set aside individual time to guide students, or strategically group students to assist one another.
  • ELLs' writing may contain a multitude of language errors. As you respond to the mid-unit assessment narratives, focus only on one or two pervasive errors to avoid overwhelming yourself and the student. For example, working on text structure (e.g., clearly stating the encounter between the animal and the predator) can often shape a clear gist out of an incomprehensible piece of writing. Leave sentence-level errors for last (e.g., word choice, syntax, spelling) unless they are responsible for interfering with the gist. 

In addition, spend an equal amount of time giving feedback on what the student did well. Get excited about and discuss the student's choice of animal encounter, clever story ideas, or progress with using domain-specific words, for example. This will help enable the student to identify and repeat his or her success next time.

Levels of support

For lighter support:

  • Consider pairing students with ELLs who need heavier support. Encourage students to work together to correct language errors on the mid-unit assessment.

For heavier support:

  • Highlight one or two pervasive language errors in each student's mid-unit assessment. Allow them to focus on discussing and revising these errors during Work Times B and C.
  • Allow students to resubmit their revisions. Give additional feedback based on the language they revised.
  • Review names of animals to prepare for the end of unit assessment. You could play animal concentration with animal names and matching pictures of animals, specifically: bobcat, opossum, hedgehog, shark, skunk, fish, armadillo, fox, pufferfish, tiger.

Universal Design for Learning

  • Multiple Means of Representation (MMR): Continue to ensure that all students have access to the directions in each activity, and feel comfortable with the expectations. Vary the ways in which you convey expectations for each activity or task. Consider engaging in a clarifying discussion about the directions, or creating an outline of the steps for each activity. 
  • Multiple Means of Action & Expression (MMAE): Continue to support a range of fine motor abilities and writing need by offering students options for writing utensils. For example, pencil grips, slanted desk, and alternative writing tools. Alternatively, consider supporting students' expressive skills by offering partial dictation of student responses. Recall that varying tools for construction and composition supports students' ability to express information gathered from the text.
  • Multiple Means of Engagement (MME): Continue to provide prompts and sentences frames for those students who require them to be successful in peer interactions and collaboration. Also support students in sustaining effort and/or attention by restating the goal of the activity.


Key: (L): Lesson-Specific Vocabulary; (T): Text-Specific Vocabulary; (W): Vocabulary used in writing

  • conventions, capitalization, punctuation, dialogue, homophones, affixes (L)


  • Working to Become Ethical People anchor chart (from Module 1)
  • Independent Reading: Sample Plan (see the Tools page)
  • Ordering Adjectives I (answers, for teacher reference)
  • Convention-less paragraph (from Lesson 11; for teacher modeling)
  • Narrative Writing Checklist (from Lesson 3; one per student and one to display)
  • Spelling Conventions anchor chart (begun in Unit 2, Lesson 11)
  • Capitalization Conventions anchor chart (begun in Unit 2, Lesson 11)
  • Punctuation Conventions anchor chart (begun in Unit 2, Lesson 11)
  • Orange colored pencils (one per student)
  • Choose-your-own-adventure narrative (first draft) (from Lesson 7; one per student)
  • Choose-your-own-adventure narrative--mid-unit assessment (with feedback; one per student)
  • Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart (from Module 1)
  • Performance Task anchor chart (begun in Unit 1, Lesson 1)
  • Steps for Planning and Drafting My Narrative anchor chart (begun in Lesson 4)


Each unit in the 3-5 Language Arts Curriculum has two standards-based assessments built in, one mid-unit assessment and one end of unit assessment. The module concludes with a performance task at the end of Unit 3 to synthesize their understanding of what they accomplished through supported, standards-based writing.


OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Research Reading Share (5 minutes) 

  • Focus students on the Working to Become Ethical People anchor chart. Remind students of: I behave with integrity. This means I am honest and do the right thing, even when it's difficult, because it is the right thing to do.
  • Remind them that this includes doing homework even when there may be other things they want to do after school. Remind them that the purpose of research reading is to build background knowledge and vocabulary on a topic so that they can gradually read more and more complex texts on that topic.
  • Refer to the Independent Reading: Sample Plan to guide students through a research reading review, or use your own routine.
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with comprehension: Repeat and rephrase the questions. Example: "What new knowledge have you learned about the topic from those books?" "What topic are you reading about in the books? Have you learned anything new? What?" (MMR)
  • For ELLs: If a student seems to be responding to very few prompts or the responses are weak, try to find out why. Consider allowing the student to discuss responses with you or a partner first, or to record responses or take notes instead of writing complete responses.

B. Reviewing Learning Targets (10 minutes)

  • Collect in the Ordering Adjectives I homework. See Ordering Adjectives I (answers, for teacher reference).
  • Ask students to put away their independent reading journals. As they are doing this, display your convention-less paragraph. 
  • Ask for a volunteer to try to read the paragraph aloud as the rest of the class follows along. 
  • Ask the class what made reading this paragraph difficult. Listen for students to notice that the reason your paragraph sounded unclear was that there were no conventions used. Explain that writers use conventions, or writing rules, to make their message clear and understandable to readers. 
  • Remind students that they have already learned about and practiced using the conventions for writing dialogue, and that in Unit 2 they edited their informational essays about their animals for conventions. Today, they will review other conventions and edit their writing so that it is clear and understandable to readers. This will help to make it ready for final publication.
  • Invite students to take out their copies of the Narrative Writing Checklist and read the final criterion on the list:
    • L.4.2, L.4.3b
  • Ask:

"Are there any specific criteria about punctuation that you should be aware of and list in that column on the checklist?"

  • Listen for students to suggest something like, "I correctly use punctuation like commas and quotation marks with dialogue," and invite them to write this in the column on their Narrative Writing Checklist.
  • Direct students' attention to the posted learning targets and read them aloud: 
  • "I can check my peers' work for correct spelling, capitalization, and punctuation."
  • "I can write a new draft of my narrative incorporating all of my revisions and teacher feedback."
  • Explain that in this lesson, students will edit their work for conventions with a partner and rewrite their narrative, incorporating all of their revisions and feedback from their Mid-Unit 3 Assessments.
  • For ELLs and students who need additional support unpacking the learning targets: Illustrate spelling, capitalization, and punctuation by pointing to examples or exemplifying. (MMR)
  • For ELLs: Ask students to rephrase check my peers' work (e.g., help my partner correct his use of conventions)

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Editing for Conventions (10 minutes) 

  • Focus students on the Spelling Conventions anchor chart, the Capitalization Conventions anchor chart, and the Punctuation Conventions anchor chart from Unit 2. Remind students that they created these charts in Unit 2. Review each chart and add any new strategies as needed.
  • Use the first few sentences of your convention-less paragraph to model. Demonstrate how to edit for each convention by circling or underlining errors with an orange colored pencil, referring to each conventions anchor chart as needed.
  • Distribute orange colored pencils and explain that students are going to edit their own Choose-your-own-adventure narrative (first draft) in this way in pairs. Invite students to retrieve this.
  • Partner students up and post these directions:

1. Choose one of your narratives to read together.

2. Together discuss and circle/underline any capitalization, punctuation, or spelling errors.

3. Repeat with the other narrative.

  • Ask students to begin working.
  • Circulate to support as needed.
  • Strategically pair students for editing by matching those strong in conventions with those that need support. It is not necessary for pairs to be from the same expert group. (MME)
  • For ELLs: Help students focus by first identifying the errors that interfere most with comprehension (e.g., spelling).

B. Reviewing Feedback from Mid-Unit 3 Assessment (10 minutes)

  • Distribute choose-your-own-adventure narrative--mid-unit assessment with teacher feedback. Tell students that they are going to write a second draft of their narratives, incorporating all of the revisions they have made. They should also incorporate some of the suggestions you made on their Mid-Unit 3 Assessment.
  • Give students 10 minutes to look at their returned work and consider how they might incorporate your feedback into the next version of their narratives.
  • Tell students that if they have any questions, they are to write their names on the board and you will get to each one in this lesson.

C. Writing Second Draft of Narratives (20 minutes)

  • In addition to their choose-your-own-adventure narratives and mid-unit assessment feedback, remind students to also keep out their independent reading journals.
  • Invite students to rewrite their narratives using all of the revisions they have made on their first drafts and incorporating your suggestions where they can.
  • As students work, circulate to check independent reading journals.
  • If productive, cue students to think about their thinking:

"How has the revision process and my feedback added to your understanding of how to write a good narrative? I'll give you time to think and discuss with a partner." (Responses will vary.)

  • Focus students on the Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart, specifically take responsibility. Use a checking for understanding protocol for students to reflect on how they took responsibility as they revised and edited their writing over the last several lessons.
  • Invite students to record 'Y' for 'Yes' and the date in the final column of their Narrative Writing Checklist if they feel the criteria marked on their checklists have been achieved in their writing in this lesson.
  • Focus students on the learning targets. Read each one aloud, pausing after each to use a checking for understanding protocol for students to reflect on their comfort level with or show how close they are to meeting each target. Make note of students who may need additional support with each of the learning targets moving forward.
  • Repeat, inviting students to self-assess how well they showed integrity and took responsibility in this lesson.
  • For students who may need additional support with fine motor skills: Consider offering them supportive tools (e.g., pencil grip, slanted desk, or use of a word processor). (MMAE)

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Preparing for the End of Unit 3 Assessment (5 minutes)

  • Post the Performance Task anchor chart and Steps for Planning and Drafting My Narrative anchor chart.
  • Review the anchor charts with students and remind them that tomorrow they will plan and write the second choice of their narrative for the end of unit assessment.
  • For ELLs: Give students plenty of encouragement: "I think it's amazing how much language you have learned. You have also learned so much about animals. Congratulations! Thank you for your hard work. You are doing an incredible job and getting even better at speaking and writing English."


HomeworkMeeting Students' Needs

A. Accountable Research Reading. Select a prompt to respond to in the front of your independent reading journal.

  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with reading and writing: Refer to the suggested homework support in Lesson 1. (MMAE, MMR)

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