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Teacher Appreciation graphic

You Be the Editor



  • Arts & Humanities
    Language Arts


  • K-2
  • 3-5
  • 6-8
  • 9-12

Brief Description

Student-editors work in teams to find all the errors in a piece of text.



  • identify errors of grammar, punctuation, and spelling in a prepared piece of text.
  • work cooperatively with other members of their team.


grammar, punctuation, spelling, game, team, cooperative

Materials Needed

Materials are not required; see Lesson Plan section for materials that might be prepared in advance, including a transparency, chart, or student work sheet.

Lesson Plan

This activity can be used across the grades to reinforce language skills that students have learned. When you find yourself with 20 minutes to spare, this activity can be created on the spot and tied to a topic being studied in the class. You can also prepare in advance several sets of sentences or short stories to be used by a substitute or for you to use at any time. Ideally these sentences/stories would be prepared on large chart paper; if you have easy access to an overhead projector, they could be prepared on a transparency. Another option: Prepare individual student work sheets with the same text so students have a copy they can work on and hold.


Have you seen Education World's Every-Day Edits resource? Here you'll find an activity to reinforce students' grammar, punctuation, and spelling skills for every day of the school year! Use this activity as a resource for this lesson, and revist this Education World feature often.

Here's how the simple activity works:

  • Divide students into teams of four or five.
  • Provide sentences, a story, or some other text that has in it numerous "planted" errors of grammar, punctuation, and spelling. The text should include a large number of errors that relate to grade-appropriate skills. (This text should be presented on chart paper, an overhead transparency, or individual student work sheets.)
  • Write a number from 1 to 10 on a sheet of paper, and ask one member of each student team to call out a number. The team that comes closest to the number you wrote without going over it will go first.
  • One member of the first team will identify an error in the text. If that person correctly identifies an error, the student's team earns a point. If the student is incorrect, the team loses a point.
  • Play moves in a clockwise direction. The next team identifies another error, and play continues.
  • When play returns to the team that started the activity, the team member who identified the first error cannot respond again. Another member of the team must respond.
  • Eventually, there will be few errors left to identify. When the activity gets to that point, you might permit all students on a team to discuss the edits they might make and come to a consensus. It's important that they talk quietly so not to give away additional edits to an opponent. If edits remain to be made, the team must have a response or they lose a point. Set a 30-second time limit for the team to come to agreement.
  • At the end of the game, the team with the most points is the winner.

    Activity notes: Before the team activity begins, you might provide each student with a work sheet that has on it the text for the activity. Students will do the work sheet on their own before teams are created. Or students can work together in their team units to identify as many errors as they can.


    The day after doing this activity, you could hand out a copy of the activity and let students do the activity on their own. In this follow-up activity, students should be able to identify 90 percent or more of the errors in the text.

    Lesson Plan Source

    Education World

    Submitted By

    Gary Hopkins

    National Standards

    LANGUAGE ARTS: English

    Return to the Teacher Appreciation Week lesson plan.

    See more lessons for substitute teachers in Education World's Sub Station.

    Originally published 5/3/2002
    Links last updated 03/28/2006