Highlighter Revisions

shared by ISUComm on August 18, 2014

Activity Summary:

This activity is designed to teach students how to revise their essays.



“This activity works best in a computer lab. If you are trying to teach students how to revise, I recommend this activity as a sound method for teaching how to organize content. The activity reveals some of the problem spots that might need attention. In addition, the students who struggle with length will find this a helpful strategy. This activity gives students a tool that enables them to see the essay in a new light.”


This activity is designed to teach students how to revise their essays.
  1. Before beginning the activity, students should bring a number of highlighters to class and a draft of their essay.
  1. Ask the students take out their drafts and with the highlighter start to locate each subtopic. Make sure you tell them to mark each subtopic with a different color.
  1. Then have them go to the computer and drag and drop all the sentences they highlighted into a final document.
  1. Have them print it out.
  1. Tell the students that the goal of this activity is to show them a process of writing, that some of the pieces we write may distract or even hinder our objective as writers.
  1. The students are finally asked to return to their seats and read over the document they printed. I tell the students that now they can get a better sense of what’s there and what’s not there.
  1. At the end of the activity I return to the idea of doing “revision,” and remind them that the goal of revision is to discover new ways to see the text.