Peer Review (Rubric)
In this lesson, students will meet in small groups to read initial drafts of their essays, focusing on introductions and conclusions. Then they’ll use a rubric to see what needs to be revised and will do so for homework.
- Read the lesson and student content.
- Anticipate student difficulties and identify the differentiation options you will choose for working with your students.
- Help students locate copies of the Independent Reading texts. They should begin reading in the next lesson.
Section 1: Questions
- Ask students to share any questions they have about writing the essay. The questions can be about the content of the play or the requirements of the essay.
Discuss the following with your classmates.
- Do you have any questions about the “Who Is Civilized?” essay?
Section 2: Who Is Civilized? Essay
- Organize students into groups of three or four so that they can see a range of essays about who is civilized and who is barbaric in Shakespeare’s The Tempest.
- Give them enough time to read all of the essays in their group.
Review the “Who Is Civilized?” essays.
- In the group your teacher establishes, exchange essays and read them all.
Section 3: Introductions
- Instruct the class to focus first on how each essay begins—how the writer introduces the topic. Remind students that the introduction should be inviting and engaging so that the reader will want to continue.
- You might call on one or two groups and ask for a volunteer to read his or her introductory section aloud. After the first volunteer, ask for someone who did something different to introduce the essay.
- Give students a little time to jot down notes about revising their introductions if they choose to do so.
In your group, talk about the beginnings of the essays you just read.
Look at the Grade 12 Informational Writing Rubric and focus on the criteria for introductions.
- How did each person introduce the topic for his or her report and analysis of Shakespeare’s The Tempest ?
- In your mind, decide which introduction was the most effective, and jot down how you might revise your introduction.
Section 4: Conclusions
- Review the language of the rubric for closure. Focus on the words “follows from and supports the information … presented (e.g., articulating implications or the significance of the topic).”
- Ask students to think about the implications of the ideas in their essay. When they read their essay and when they get to the end, they might ask themselves, “So what?”
- Another question to ask is “What is significant or important about what you have written?”
- The answers to these questions belong in the closure, the final paragraph.
- SWD: Be sure all SWDs are engaged and are able to compare their conclusions with those of other students. Comparing might be difficult (especially when the conclusions are relatively different). Be sure to support these students as needed.
In your group, talk about the endings of your essays.
Focus on the criteria for closure in the Grade 12 Informational Writing Rubric.
- How did each person conclude his or her essay?
- In your mind, decide which conclusion was the most effective, and jot down how you might revise your conclusion.
Section 5: Checklist Questions
- You may choose to go over the checklist questions with the whole class or allow all or some students to work independently.
- Let students know they will have time in this class and for homework to revise their essays if needed.
- ELL: Be sure that all ELLs are able to compare their essays with the rubric effectively. It is not an easy thing to do. In addition, ensure that ELLs are clear about the meanings of all the words in the rubric before asking them to start work.
- Save time for a Quick Write during Closing.
Apply the rubric to your essay and ask yourself the following questions.
- Have I introduced the topic in an engaging way?
- Is the organization of the essay logical; does each part build on the ideas that precede it?
- Have I used text features, such as subtitles or headings, to signal new subtopics?
- Do I have sufficient facts, details, quotations, and examples to support the main ideas of the essay?
- Have I used appropriate and varied transitions between the parts and ideas (sentence or paragraph level)?
- Is my language precise and objective, formal enough in tone for an informational essay about Shakespeare?
If you answered no to any of the checklist questions, revise your essay.
Section 6: Best New Idea
- Ask students to submit their responses before you dismiss them.
Complete a Quick Write in response to the following.
- What is the best new idea you heard today that you can incorporate into your essay?
Submit your response to your teacher.
Section 7: Who Is Civilized? Essay
- Remind students that the final draft of the essay is due during Lesson 12.
- Remind students to choose and locate an Independent Reading text before Lesson 12.
Finish your essay.
- Revise your essay as needed.
- Bring a completed draft to Lesson 12.