Editing Practice for Seventh Grade

by Jimmie Lanley on August 29, 2011

editor in chief curriculum

I’ve shared before my love of using proofreading and editing to teach grammar, mechanics, and writing. In the past we’ve used Evan Moor’s Daily Paragraph Editing, but that series only goes up to 6th grade. For Sprite’s 7th grade, I’ve switched over to The Critical Thinking Company’s Editor in Chief workbooks.

These workbooks have three levels:

  1. A level for grades 4-6
  2. B level for grades 6-8
  3. C level for grades 8-adult
Each level has two sections, book 1 and book 2. (We are using B1 right now; it’s pictured above.) Each book has 33 activities. At the back of the book, the needed corrections for each exercise are clearly listed and even explained in a special grammar guide.
A unique aspect of the Editor in Chief workbook is that each paragraph is complemented by an image and caption. Both the image and its caption have to be studied in order to make the right corrections to the paragraph.

How I Use Editor in Chief

I photocopy the exercise so that Sprite can make corrections directly onto the page. I look over her edits and we discuss if necessary. Sometimes a grammar or mechanics topic will arise, and we use our grammar references to delve into it. I may add on a grammar exercise if the concept seems tough to understand. Any notes can go directly into her grammar notebook.

editing grade 7

Then Sprite copies the paragraph with all her corrections into the grammar notebook (a composition notebook).  She affixes the image and caption on the facing page.


How I Schedule Editor in Chief

Day 1 Make corrections to the paragraph. Show mom for checking.

Day 2 (possibly) Discuss any grammar or mechanics issues from the paragraph by reading a grammar reference and looking at sample sentences.

Day 3 Rewrite the paragraph neatly into the notebook. Affix the picture and caption.

Day 4 (possibly) Review or do more practice with the grammar or mechanics points.

If the editing practice goes very smoothly without any need for a grammar mini lesson, we may do two exercises a week. It’s highly flexible and dependent on Sprite’s understanding from week to week. I am not a proponent of busy work. If she already understands something, we move on.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Melissa Telling August 29, 2011 at 10:20 am

Jimmie, we are using composition books for Bible this year. The kids loved being able to decorate the covers to suit their personalities. (Look up “altered notebooks” on the internet- there are tons of examples to copy.) My daughter even made an extra one for sermon notes. Since Sprite is so crafty, this might be something she would have fun with too.


Maureen August 29, 2011 at 4:42 pm

Budding in—here’s an article I wrote on altered comp. books: http://www.squidoo.com/altered-composition-books

Love that you have Sprite use the notebook–why didn’t I think of that? We have this series and it wasn’t working just as a worksheet. I’m going to try it again using your method.


Blossom August 29, 2011 at 10:43 am

We love composition notebooks. For every subject.
My daughter (who is in 9th grade -or year 8 of AO) has used Jensen’s Grammar. She is coming to an end of that and since she would like to be an editor when she is done with school, I am thinking of (re)starting her with the Editor in Chief book we have. It was a little much for her last year (at the start of the year).


MO August 29, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Eagle (gr.6) has been consistently working on Editor in Chief for the last two years. It’s really all the grammar practice he does, besides formal writing. The first year (gr.4) was a chore for him, now he’s come to realize that it’s here to stay. His improved attitude has brought me more ease in the day. From day one he’s appreciated the variety and choice in subject matter to edit. I found the space provided was NOT ideal. Eagle also uses a notebook for Editor in Chief. I also never gave him a deadline for completing each exercise, always allowing him to work at his own pace. Overtime, this helped with his attitude and he now completes one every week without complaining. JOY!


Sparklee August 29, 2011 at 10:28 pm

What a great system! Editing can get so tedious, but I like how you have broken it down into smaller, more manageable pieces.


Melissa Telling August 30, 2011 at 7:51 am

Maureen, I think your site was actually one of the ones I looked at. 🙂


Irina August 30, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Thank you so much for all of the very useful information on your blog! I have a 4th grade homeschooler and I highly value the experience of those ‘who’ve gone before me.’ I think the Daily Paragraph books look good and I’ve ordered 2 grade levels. The Evan Moor books are a great way to supplement and allow the kids to do some independent work. We’ve always used their Daily Math Practice ones. Thank you again!


Maria August 31, 2011 at 9:00 am

Jimmie – I do wish you had a Facebook fan page for your web site! 🙂


Theresa January 16, 2012 at 7:11 pm

I am considering Editor in Chief and Mom’s Mustard Seeds pointed me here–her memory is astounding!

We are using Daily Grams, which I like, but I think we need more work with paragraphs. I love that you have her re-write it correctly…my 9 yo needs cursive practice and that would be perfect! thanks!


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