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Lesson Plan Title: Copyediting

Grade Level: 9 - 12

Duration: 25 minutes

Description: During this lesson, you will teach some standard copyediting marks. Students will copyedit one another's poems and make changes to their own poems using the copyediting marks.

Student Objectives: Students will learn some copyediting marks, copyedit a poem and also make changes to their own poems using copyediting marks.

List Materials:

  1. Copyediting Marks (PDF)
  2. Text for Copyedit (PDF)
  3. Answer Key, Copyedit Marks (PDF)
  4. Answer Key, Corrected Texts (PDF)

Set Up and Prepare:

  1. Make enough copies of the "Copyediting Marks" reproducible for the entire class.
  2. Print, photocopy and cut out the "Text for Copyedit" so that there are enough texts for one per group of three students.
  3. Have students come to class with two copies of a typed poem that is ready for a final polish.


PART I: Mini-lesson/Game on Copyediting Marks

Set up the activity:

  1. Break students into groups of three.
  2. Hand out the "Copyediting Marks" sheet to all of the students.
  3. Give one student per group a text from the "Text for Copyedit" reproducible.
  4. Instruct the students that they CANNOT TALK during this exercise.

Game Instructions:

  1. The first student has 20 seconds to make copyediting marks on the text and pass it along to person #2.
  2. Person #2 has 30 seconds to re-write the text and pass it along to person #3.
  3. Person #3 has 20 seconds to read the re-written text and make a judgment about whether or not their text is ready to submit to you. If person #3 is not satisfied that the text is perfect, she has to make more copyediting marks before submitting the text to you.

Students receive full points in this game by either submitting a text with no mistakes or submitting a text that has mistakes that were caught and marked by person #3. Look over the final texts and let the students know who won!

PART II: Students Copyedit One-Another's Poems

  1. Have students stay in their groups of three and give copies of their poems to the other two members of their groups.
  2. Give the students 10 minutes to look through both of their peers' poems and make copyediting marks.
  3. After the 10 minutes is over, students collect the two versions of copyedited poems from their peers.
  4. Then, they can look at the two copies and use them to make corrections.

PART III: Students Make Corrections

Students make corrections to their poems using the marks made by their peers. This can be a homework assignment.

Assess Students:
  1. Look over the texts that the students hand into you after the initial game but also go around the room during the game and have a look at the marks made by the copyeditors in the groups.
  2. Go around and help students when they make editing marks on their peers' poems.

Lesson Extension: Have students copyedit full essays. Or, give bonus credit to students who photocopy mistakes in printed material and make the correct copyediting marks on the photocopy to correct the mistakes. For example, if students find mistakes in the newspaper, they can make photocopies of the articles, copyedit the text, and hand it in to you. You could designate a small space on your classroom wall for these corrected mistakes.

Evaluate Lesson: Are the final poems free of typos and small mistakes?

Assignments: Students correct their poems using the copyediting marks made by their peers.