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Pair Editing


  • Arts & Humanities
    --Language Arts


  • 3-5
  • 6-8

Brief Description

Students share their edits and then edit solo. Two humorous worksheets included.


Students will

  • apply their knowledge of spelling, punctuation, and grammar as they read and edit two humorous essays.


edit, punctuation, grammar, spelling, humor

Materials Needed 

  • pencils
  • copies of one or both worksheets included in this activity

Lesson Plan

This activity worksheet provides students with practice in thinking critically and, more importantly, editing carefully. Provide students with a copy of the What's Up? Worksheet. Students should find at least 20 basic errors of spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Give students 10 to 15 minutes to complete the worksheet.

When students are done, arrange them into pairs. Each pair of students should review the worksheet to "pair edit" it. They can compare the edits they made and identify the corrections that should be made.

Gather the class to compare edits and to edit correctly.

How did students do? With that editing completed, are they ready to do a second editing job? Decide whether they should complete this worksheet individually or in pairs and then distribute the Cold Water Clean worksheet. If they "pair edit," tell students they must agree on the corrections they make because each partner will earn the same grade.

The Answer Key for the second worksheet can be found in the Assessment section below.


Students will make at least 80 percent of the corrections on the assessment worksheet (#2).

Corrections appear in bold type.
Worksheet #1 -- What's Up?
        On Sunday morning, I sat down to breakfast with my mother. "You know, there's/there is something I've been thinking about," I told her. "I've been thinking about how much trouble one little word can cause."
        "What are you talking about?" my mother asked.
         "Well, think about it," I said. "It's easy to understand the word up when it means toward the sky or at the top of the list, but why do we wake up in the morning? In school, why does a topic come up? Why do I have to read up on the Civil War? Why is it up to me to remember to do my homework?"
         "I see what you mean," my mother said. "I just was reading that the mayor is up for election. When I get to work, I have to write up a report."
         "We call up our friends; we warm up the leftovers; and we clean up the kitchen," I laughed.[delete end quotation mark that was after laughed."] "We lock up the house. I hate getting dressed up. We open up a drain that is stopped up. It clouds up, then it clears up. Then we fix up the old car."
         "You sound really fed up," my mother chuckled. "Or are you just mixed up?"
         "I looked up the word up in Webster's Dictionary and it took up a whole column!" I said, almost ready to lose it. "I think it's time to speak up!"
         "Don't go and stir up trouble," my mother said. "You don't want to wind up with a bigger problem, do you?"
         "You're right," I said. "All this thinking has really helped me work up an appetite though. May I have some more eggs?"
         "Coming right up!" my mother said.

Worksheet #2 - Cold Water Clean
Corrections are noted in bold type:
         The sun woke up Rob early in the morning. It was so good to be back in the small Ohio town where he grew/had grown up. He was eager to spend some time with his 87-year-old grandfather in the family's cabin at Lagoon Lake, so he hopped out of bed. Grandfather was just beginning to cook breakfast. "Yum! I smell bacon and eggs!" Rob said.
         As Rob held out his plate to be served, he saw a film-like substance on his plate. "Is this plate clean?" he asked his grandfather.[delete the end quotation mark that was after grandfather."]
         "That plate is as clean as cold water can get it," his grandfather said. "Go on and finish your meal."
         That afternoon, while eating burgers for lunch, Rob saw tiny specks around the edge of his plate. It looked like there was dried egg on the plate too. "Are you sure this plate is clean?" he asked his grandfather.
         Without looking up from his burger, grandfather said, "I told you before, that dish is as clean as cold water can get it. Now don't ask me about it anymore!"
         Later that afternoon, as Rob was on his way out to get the newspaper, the dog started to growl. The old dog wouldn't let Rob out the door. "Grandfather, your dog won't let me out," Rob complained.
         Without looking away from the football game on TV, grandfather shouted, "Come here, Coldwater. Come here, boy!"

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins

Click to return to this week's lesson planning theme page, Teaching Grammar Without the Hammer: Five Fun Activities.


Last Updated 04/05/2017