Reflecting on Argument Writing

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SWBAT explain their progress in developing and strengthening their writing by writing goal-setting self-evaluations of their work.

Big Idea

Goal setting and self-awareness are keys to student growth in writing.


I've included the beautiful image of the Ponte Vecchio in Italy by Martin Falbisoner on Wikimedia Commons in order to help inspire you and me to remember to have the students reflect.  Oftentimes, I am pressed to finish a given unit of instruction or writing assignment and want to move on to the next topic to sort of shake the dust of the previous unit off my my feet and move on. 

However, students can offer surprisingly important and insightful comments on their own work when they are give the chance.  In this lesson, the students have finished their essays and have turned them in to for final assessment, and I ask them to do an additional piece of writing and submit it to, and the assignment is called 'reflection' as it asks them three questions to comment on.

Lots of research supports this lesson design, but most notably Graham and Perrin (2007) did a meta-analysis of dozens and dozens of research studies on writing, and they found very strong effect sizes for a number of things, but most notably for students to set and pursue goals in writing; they also noted a high effect size for peer support.  Both of these have had a strong presence in this unit, and I want to make sure that the students are at least somewhat aware of the important process that they have undertaken. 

Students Write Reflections on Writing Progress

20 minutes

The question prompts include: 

1.) How satisfied are you with your paper?

2.) What types of feedback was important to you, and what changes did you make?

3.) What will you do on the next assignment like this?


The goal of these questions is to give students a bit of a memory bank, and then we will consult these before we do our next papers.

Unit Wrap Up!

15 minutes

The goal of this section is to wrap up the unit and to see if students can begin to see the interplay between the oral discourse that we engaged in and their written argument.  I want to discuss this as a class (SL.9-10.1) in order to solicit the various opinions in class and to give our group a sense of closure and accomplishment.  I will keep this quickly moving and light.  We have been slugging it pretty hard with the argument writing, so a bit of laughter might be good, too.

1.) What was you favorite part of the book?

2.) Which discussion activity was most influential for you?

3.) What advice would you give next year's freshman class in reading this book?

4.) How can we continue to grow and develop as a class now that we have  done so well with this?!

I will take notes after class in my teacher' journal and review them from time to time as we mount more challenging campaigns to read books that are not as high in affect as this novel, a book that almost reads itself with students, and as we address more challenging standards such as connotations of words and point of view.