Essay Workshop

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Students will work in groups of 3-4 in order to share their comparitive analysis essays, edit, and support one another to improve their essays.

Big Idea

Maybe You Should Try...Or You Could Say...

Independent Practice/Guided Practice

50 minutes

Today's class is all about making one another better through supportive and constructive feedback. We will work in teams of 3-4 (ideally 4) and will rotate between papers. Students are asked to bring 4 copies of their essay from the previous day to class. We will rotate between each student as the focus in their group. I tell the students that they should establish their order before we begin. It shouldn't be a major issue, just establishing the rotation order. 

Round 1 begins with the first student reading his or her paper aloud to his team as the other 2-3 group members take notes on their own copy of the essay. It is important that the students are reading along as the student reads aloud and are not simply listening to him or her read. This process is two-fold: 1) The reader is more likely to catch issues and mistakes that are often overlooked when just reading something silently and 2) Each peer is able to hear the essay as the writer intended it to sound. This will help them to recognize specific areas to focus their efforts on in order to support the writer in genuine improvement.

Once the student completes his or her reading, the other group members will offer feedback, one at a time. Following a clockwise rotation will help to keep this process simple and easily executable. Each peer should only take 1-2 minutes for feedback in order to ensure everyone has an opportunity to be heard. Once the other group members have provided feedback, the writer will have the remainder of their portion of time to ask any questions needed to better understand and implement the feedback they've received. Each student is able to ask the others to focus on specific areas that they would like feedback, or the students can utilize the PARCC Rubric to help them provide meaningful feedback for one another. 

After 11 minutes has gone by, I ask the students to rotate to focus on the second member of their group. The group will follow the exact same process as before.

After 11 minutes, I will ask the groups to rotate their focus in order to support the third member of their group.

Then, after the next 11 minutes has passed, the focus will shift to the fourth and final member of the group. For groups of three, they will be able to continue their discussion as needed, or they may begin making edits to their own essays, using the feedback from their peers. 

At the conclusion of this section, students will have about 2-5 minutes of class time remaining. I like to ask students to share out "ah-has" they have from participating in the process.