You are viewing our website as a(n)

Roots & Shoots

  1. Home
  2. Writing
  3. Editing
  4. Roots & Shoots


From These Six Things (Stuart Jr., 2019), Roots & Shoots is an editing and revision strategy designed to increase teacher efficiency as well as inform instruction based on student work.


For this strategy, students must first draft what is intended to be complete writing assignments. They may or may not have already performed other revision and/or editing strategies. This point in the process is when the teacher has a chance to identify areas of need based on the current state of writing.

Read through a handful of the students’ submitted assignments. Do not write any feedback or correction on individual submissions but instead make notes on a separate sheet about erroneous tendencies or common weaknesses in the writing. After reading through enough (25% or so should be sufficient, although it may be valuable at times to skim through all of them as well), generate a list of around 3 clear focus areas that the majority of students need to address to improve their submissions.

With those in mind, identify exemplars either from the student submissions or your own writing (only if necessary) to feature effective usage of those focus areas. Redistribute students’ assignments, addressing directly the assignments are blank (unmarked by the teacher).

Ask students to open their own notebooks and create a Roots and Shoots list (author Dave Stuart suggests explaining that this title is because these are things that will help grow them as writers). Briefly cover each of the focus areas in a mini-lesson, using the identified exemplars to feature and illustrate proper usage, then ask students to address those focus areas in their own assignments, evaluating the current state and revising.

Finally, consider instructing students on a clear annotation for each focus area so that in future writing, they and the teacher can use those annotations to indicate strong or weak demonstrations of those areas. Keep all focus areas addressed in this way on a classroom anchor chart. Be sure that list of focus areas does not grow too long over time.

Shopping cart0
There are no products in the cart!
Continue shopping