Revision: Point of View

In one of my schools, we’re doing a l-o-n-g teacher study of revision.  We’re looking more deeply at strategies we can give our students for making real, meaningful, deep revisions.  We’re latching onto an image that Colleen Cruz gave me:  revision is Extreme Home Makeover for writing!

In looking at where this first particular group of writers could make revisions, we read through their drafts of opinion pieces.  We wondered what would happen if the writers attempted a draft from another point of view.  Would new thinking emerge that might enrich the actual piece itself?  A few of the kids were game to try it.

Here was our strategy lesson:

One way writers revise opinion writing is by trying a draft from a different point of view.

1.  Re-read your current draft.

2. Think:  who might disagree with this?

3.  Pretend to be that person and write a draft from their point of view.

The kids did some beautiful work!  It led to them thinking about places in their own opinion pieces where there were “holes” in their argument.  They were able to strengthen the argument by addressing the holes.  Wow.

Then we found this blog entry on using a different point of view in a narrative entry.  That got us to thinking — changing point of view might be a strong revision technique across genres of writing.  That would make it a valuable tool in the toolkits our writers use.