Microsoft Word Lesson Plans: Editing Tools

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This one of the Microsoft Word lesson plans is for students who are already familiar with typing stories and papers in Word. You will be focusing on teaching students how to use the “Track Changes” and “Comment” buttons under “Review.” Students can also review how to use the spell check feature and thesaurus.

Before the lesson on track changes and commenting, students will need to type a rough draft in Microsoft Word. It is also helpful if students have access to Word during the lesson plan and if the teacher can present with a SmartBoard.


Ask students to click on “Review” in the Microsoft Word tool bar. Poll students to see which tools they are familiar with and/or use on a regular basis. Students most likely use the spell check and thesaurus. Discuss with students when they use these tools and how they are helpful. Ask a few students to come up to the front and demonstrate these tools as a review.

Then explain to students that you are going to teach them how to use tools for peer editing and self-editing. These tools will track any changes that they make to their document, but the original words will still be there. Explain students will be able to accept or reject changes with the click of the mouse. Students can also leave positive comments on each other’s work as well as ask questions or suggest changes.

Instruction and Practice

With the SmartBoard, click on the “Track Changes” feature under “Review” in the Microsoft Word tool bar to start off the body of this lesson plan for Word. Demonstrate with a document what happens when you delete something in Word when “Track Changes” is being used. (Students should see the word or phrase in red and crossed off.) Then show them what happens when you insert text. With students, go through the document on the SmartBoard, and delete and insert text.

Next, let them try this feature with their own rough drafts. (Because you will want students to try out features as you teach them, this lesson plan for Word will take more than one class period.) Some students have trouble finding their own mistakes, so ask them to try to make at least five changes to their document, which means they may need to insert text instead of deleting mistakes.

After students have used “Track Changes” to mark up their rough draft, show them the “Accept” or “Reject” buttons. If students want to accept a change they made, they click on accept, and the program will erase the red letters as well as take the inserted correction. If students reject the change, then the program will revert back to the original text. Ask students to try these two features by accepting and rejecting at least one change for each.

Next, you will show students how to use the “Comment” feature. Again, it is best to demonstrate with a paper the whole class can comment on, using the SmartBoard. Demonstrate both positive comments and comments that make suggestions and corrections. Show students how to use the “Delete Comment” button to delete a comment they mistakenly made in this lesson plan for Word. If you have several comments on the SmartBoard paper, you can show them how to scroll from comment to comment using the “Previous” and “Next” features.

Just like with “Track Changes,” students should practice commenting on their own rough drafts, deleting comments, and scrolling through comments using previous and next.

Individual Practice and Closing

At the end of this Microsoft Word lesson plan, students will use “Track Changes” and “Comment” to peer edit a paper. After students have peer edited their partner’s paper while you observed, they can use the “Accept” or “Reject” and “Delete Comment” features to create a final draft of their papers.

When students are ready to turn in their final drafts, discuss with them how they liked or disliked using the editing tools to peer edit and self-edit their work. What did they find easier about the Word tools? What did they find more difficult? Would they use these tools on their own?