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Use reading strategies to peer edit


In this lesson, students will learn to consider readers’ needs when writing stories and designing pages. Struggling students will learn a method of peer editing that breaks down the process into manageable chunks.


  • Students will learn the reading strategies of previewing the text, activating background knowledge and setting a reading purpose.
  • Students will apply these strategies when reading classmates’ stories.
  • Students will reflect on ways that journalists can address readers’ needs when writing stories and designing pages.

Common Core State Standards



Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.


Analyze how the author unfolds an analysis or series of ideas or events, including the order in which the points are made, how they are introduced and developed, and the connections that are drawn between them.


Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience.


50 minutes


Reading process editing checklist

Lesson step-by-step

1. Introduction — 5 minutes

After students have submitted first drafts of stories, let them know that today they will be editing a partner’s story using a checklist designed to mimic the process good readers use when encountering an unfamiliar text. Review key vocabulary, such as previewing a text, activating background knowledge and setting a reading purpose.

2. Peer editing — 30 minutes

Students edit a classmate’s story using the reading process editing checklist. Students should return stories to their classmate and confer as necessary. Students should revise and complete their stories as homework.

3. Closing and/or follow-up — 10 minutes

How can journalists address readers’ needs when writing stories and designing pages? Discuss the use of headlines, pull quotes, captions, infographics and leads in helping the reader engage with the story and providing“points of entry.

This is an opportunity for assessment, as well. Students can complete a reflective writing assignment or exit ticket to share their takeaways from the experience as a way for the teacher to check for understanding.


Students who are exceptional readers will probably become impatient when editing stories in this step-by-step, deliberate manner. For these students, emphasize that they will not always need to edit stories this way, but sometimes it is useful to slow a process down the first couple of times you do something. Also, using this method will remind them about readers’ needs and the ways they can anticipate these needs and address them so that more people will read their excellent stories.

Students who are struggling readers and writers will benefit most from this method of peer editing. Encourage these students to continue using the checklist for a longer duration.