Are you looking for ways to help your students revise a narrative essay? This lesson will focus on the first letter of DARE (Delete, Add, Rearrange, Exchange) where  D stands for DELETE.  You will learn ways to show your students how to delete unnecessary information in their writing. The post is also a part of a series of writing mini lessons that scaffold through the writing process ideal for any writing curriculum.

Breaking up the revising step into separate lessons will allow you to focus on one way to revise.  If you take the time on your first essay or story to show each of the ways to revise, it will be helpful in future writing.  Once you’ve taught all the ways to revise, students will have notes and resources to use when revising papers thoughout the year.  It is worth the time!


Many times students add things that aren’t needed for their story. Revisit the DARE anchor chart and tell students to only focus on the D- Delete unneccessary information.  If there is something in a paragraph that doesn’t stick to the topic, it should be deleted. It will disrupt the flow of the story and confuse the reader.  


Within your class story, add something that doesn’t make sense or doesn’t stick to the topic of the paragraph. Explain to your students why it doesn’t fit and that unnecessary information should be deleted.  

For example:

Pam and Hillary were walking along the lake and discovered a bottle that had a written message inside! They got the message out and read it! It was a sunny day. It was a map of a hidden treasure! They didn’t hesitate and started following it.


After sharing the poster (or creating your own paragraph with an added sentence or two that doesn’t make sense or fit) with the students, have them go through their own rough drafts and delete things that interrupt the flow to the story or don’t belong.


Students should share where they found places to delete. If a student is struggling to revise with this step, it will be helpful for him/her to see where a peer found a section to delete.



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This lesson is also included in the STEP-BY-STEP WRITING® Program with mini-lessons designed to scaffold through the writing process. Writing units included are sentence structure, paragraph writing, narrative writing, opinion writing, and informative writing. See what is included in the image below and click on it to learn more about them! You will turn your reluctant writers into ROCKSTAR WRITERS™! 

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