Editing and Redrafting Poetry

Achieving a balance between using poetic devices for effect and sharing the story or idea of a poem is challenging and something that can only be achieved with regular exposure to both the reading and writing of poetry. The economy of the form can be particularly challenging for some writers but poetry lends itself to editing and redrafting.

Valerie Bloom in the video below describes her writing and editing process for her poem Haircut Rap. Sharing this and the other videos of the poets featured below will support the children in understanding the purpose of editing and redrafting and to see it as a normal and essential part of the writing process.

When children are editing their poetry encourage them to consider the following:

Reading Aloud Encouraging children to read their own poetry aloud supports children to discover what is‘ear catching’ in their own writing. You might want to invite children to record and listen back to them reading their poetry aloud to support this process.

Using response partners​ Just as an author would work with an editor, children should be given opportunities to help each other by reading their writing aloud and responding as readers. This allows them to support each other as they compose and structure their ideas. Writers can tell response partners what they are pleased with in their writing, particular concepts or parts of the poem they may be struggling with and gaining a picture from the reader of how their impacts on them. Response partners should be encouraged to reflect on the impact of the narrative and illustrations on them as a reader. Children can then re-draft sections of their work, based on these conversations.

Preparing for publication Giving editing a purpose such as publication either on the page or in performance supports children to want to edit thier work. Many of the poets featured on this site talk about writing out intial drafts on paper and then transferring to the computer to prepare for the publication of thier work you might want to consider changing the medium the children are working with to support their editing process. 

Establishing editing partners
At the final stage of the writing process, it is important that children are given time to support each other with transcription proof reading, looking at spelling, punctuation and grammar and consider the quality of  before publication.