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TeachNet Grant: Google Docs, Jing & Peer Revisions
Jennifer Rygalski

131 Avenue of the Americas
NY, NY 10013

9th grade Humanities
About the Grant:

This unit can be used after students complete the first draft of any piece of writing. I used it in the English classroom after students completed the first draft of a science journalism article about climate change. In this unit, students learn how to share documents using Google docs and the steps that are necessary for peer revision.  Once students are paired with another student, they share the documents with each other.  The students are provided a specific list of step by step instructions which they use to revise the paper. After the students receive feedback from peers, the students will watch the different Jing videos which provide step by step instructions about specific editing steps to take before submitting the final draft of the paper. Students will receive in class instruction on these steps as well. Editing steps will include the following: taking contractions out of the paper, use of proper nouns, and how to use the find and replace function in Microsoft Word.


How This Grant was Adapted:

Google docs is an excellent tool to use during peer revision. It saves all of the students work on a continuous basis, thus the teacher and the students can track all of the changes that are made. This also allows the students to return to his or her original document if necessary.  Additionally, using Google docs allows a teacher to work on a document at the same time that students are working on it.  Google Docs can also be used offline now--you need to install a program called Google Gears that lets you open and edit existing documents without an Internet connection. Then, the next time you get online, it will sync the most recent version with the online version.

The Jing videos allow students to visually observe edits being made to Word documents. This is useful because while students may observe this in class, often times, editing occurs at home. This allows the students to revisit the steps at any time. 

  • Students will be able to incorporate feedback into revised drafts, as appropriate, suggestions taken from critiques made by peers and teachers.
  • Students will be able to produce a series of distinctly different drafts that result in a polished piece of writing.
  • Students will be able to critique the writing or presentation of peers.
  • Students will be able to analyze and subsequently revise work to clarify it or make it more effective in communicating the intended message or though.
  • Students will be able to describe the reasons for stylistic choices made as a writer.
Websites Used


This the site to download Jing and contains help and how-to sections.

The following sites contain writing tutorials and help for students:

  1. http://owl.english.purdue.edu
  2. http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/index.html
  3. http://unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/index.html
  4. http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k33202
Standards Addressed:
The student analyzes and subsequently revises work to clarify it or make it more effective in communicating the intended message or thought. The student's revisions should be made in light of the purposes, audiences, and contexts that apply to the work.
The student participates in group meetings, in which the student: offers own opinion forcefully without dominating; responds appropriately to comments and questions; gives reasons in support of opinions.
Lesson 1:
Title: Explaining How to Set Up Google Docs/Gmail Accounts

Objectives: Students will be able to set up Google docs accounts. Students will be able to understand the steps in the peer revision process.

Materials: computers, Google docs accounts


1. Explain to students how to set-up Google docs accounts. They should write their passwords down somewhere so they don't forget them.

2. Once students set up their accounts, they need to upload their documents to their accounts.

3. After the students upload their documents, they need to then share their documents with their peer revision partner.  Teacher will model how to do this with his or her document.

4. Once a document has been shared, the students who are being invited to view the documents must go to their emails and use the link that they receive in order to move the document into their Google Docs account. 

5. Explain to the students that they can tell which documents they own in Google Docs because their name (listed as "me" ) will be in black. All of the people who are sharing the documents, their names will be in grey.


Assessment:  Teacher will monitor the students' progress in setting up their accounts, uploading documents, and sharing their documents.

Lesson 2:
Title: Peer Revision Steps

Objectives: Students will be able to critique the writing of a peer.

Materials: google docs accounts, computers, peer revision directions


1.     Students will open up their google docs accounts.

2.     Teacher will explain/define constructive criticism and expectations for being a peer reviser.

3.     Teacher will explain to the students the peer revision steps worksheet.

4.     Teacher will model a few of the steps for the students.
5.     Teacher will model for students how to use the "comments" function in google docs.

6.     Students will complete the steps of the peer revision worksheet, making changes and suggestions to peer's draft.

Homework: Students will begin to make changes to their drafts as per the peer revisers' suggestions.

Assessment: Teacher will walk around and observe student' revisions online as well as by walking around.

Lesson 3:
Title: Using Online Writing Centers for Advice About Writing.

Objectives: Students will be able to analyze and subsequently revise work to clarify it or make it more effective in communicating the intended message or though.

Materials: websites from online writing centers, google docs accounts, peer revision directions

Websites: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/, http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/index.html, http://unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/index.html, http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k33202


  1. Students will write down two areas in which they need help with their writing.
  2. Teacher will explain to the students how to navigate the different writing center websites looking for advice on the answers to their questions. 
  3.  Students will then navigate among the different websites as they look for the answers to their questions.
  4. Students will incorporate the advice from the websites into revisions that they make into their papers.
Homework: Students will continue to make revisions to their papers.
Assessment: Teacher will walk around and observe and help students as necessary.
Lesson 4
Title: Using Jing to Make Edits
Objective: Students will be able to produce a series of distinctly different drafts that result in a polished piece of writing.
Materials: Jing videos, google docs, students drafts, editing checklist worksheet
Jing website: http://jingproject.com. Creating the videos is easy. Follow the steps on the website.
1. Students will use the teacher made Jing videos to make the final edits to their papers.
2. Students will determine which Jing videos they need to watch based on the teacher and peer feedback they received via Google Docs.
3. Students will watch the videos and make the necessary changes to their drafts.
4. If students finish early, they can make Jing videos related to other common grammar errors.
Homework: Students will make the last changes to their final drafts.
Assesssment: Teacher will collect final drafts.

Jennifer started teaching in 2001 as a New York City Teaching Fellow. She has never looked back. For the past seven years she has taught eighth grade. This year, she moved up to high school, and is currently working at the NYCiSchool, a new public high school that opened up this past fall.

peer revision checklist 4_6_09(1).doc


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