Proofreading and editing are important skills to have in high school, college and wherever students may go in life. Using proofreading and editing activities may help your students improve their writing skills. These activities can be done individually or in small groups. Give your activities a theme based on what you are teaching in the class, such as what book the students may be reading.
Hand out a fake essay or fake news article to each student and leave several mistakes in it. Have the students go through the article, find the mistakes and correct them. Do this as a major activity every once in a while, or turn it into an everyday activity by just using a few sentences with mistakes in them. This daily activity will also give you time to take attendance and tie up any loose ends.
Set a due date for your students to bring in a rough draft of their essay or other piece of work. Collect each student's essay and then hand them back out to the class so everyone has a different person's paper. Hand each person a sheet with a rubric or questions about the essay, such as "What did you like best about the essay?" or "Where could you have improved it and how?" After these have been filled out, hand each essay back to the student it belongs to. Or, have the students jot down some questions they may have, and after everyone is done editing, have each student meet with the person who edited his paper.
Have the students come up with an activity of their own. Ask your students to write a page on a subject you may be learning in class. Ask each student to write the paper correctly, then place mistakes throughout the paper, such as factual mistakes, misspellings and run-on sentences. Have the student keep track of all the mistakes and how to correct them. You can then hand out the student-made activities to all your students.
Using Proofreaders' Marks
If you're teaching your students about proofreading, an activity on proofreaders' marks may be helpful. When students are proofreading or editing, hand them a chart of proofreaders' marks and ask them to use them whenever possible. When students are more familiar with the marks, ask them to put the chart away. Give them a piece of writing that has these marks on it, but hasn't been correctly written with the proofreader's suggestions in mind. Ask the students to correctly type or write the piece of work according to the proofreader's suggestions.
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