Editing Text Messages

How many times have we tried to do D.O.L or another “by the book” editing activity and immediately lost student interest? I know it has happened to me so many times. As technology becomes more prevalent, I am noticing the student’s ability to edit and revise is declining at a great speed. I needed something that would grab their attention and still accomplish my goal as a teacher.

I created a set of eight cell phones with text messages for the students to edit and revise. I figured the students would connect to this. I knew it would grab their attention. I did NOT realize how incredibly excited they would get about the activity though. You want “buy-in” from your students? This will do it!

We discussed the different rules for word usage, punctuation, and capitalization before they ever started the activity. The activity comes with these journal pages which were very helpful.

We also have anchor charts all around our room to help with editing, revising, usage, conventions, etc.

We did not use the template that is included with the activity to record our answers. I just had them use notebook paper! The template looks like this though.

Notebook paper worked great too though! The students were allowed to use flexible seating and move around the room while working. I think this made the activity even more enjoyable because they could show their friends which phone they chose.

I wasn’t sure the best way to prepare the activity for my kids. I didn’t know if I wanted it to be group work or independent work. I decided independent would work best. I can assess their knowledge of the skill more easily this way. So I had each student choose a phone. When they completed that phone, they turned their notebook paper over and chose another phone. This plan worked much better than I thought it would.

I did make the editing and revising rather challenging on these. The students really had to think about how to change the text for it to make sense (revising) and obviously fix different conventions (editing).

Overall, the lesson and activity was a COMPLETE success. I cannot always say that about my teaching. We have hard days just like everyone else–but today was fun!

If you would like to use these in your classroom, I will link them below along with the anchor charts I use!

Text Message Resource and Literacy Anchor Charts

Thanks for reading along!

xoxo, Hillary