Peer Review of our Writing

Print Lesson


SWBAT to review each other's essays in order to set goals for their next drafts.

Big Idea

“As a writer, you should not judge, you should understand.” ― Ernest Hemingway

Lesson Opener

5 minutes

In my lesson openers I always have a "connect" in which I connect students' thinking about yesterday's lesson to today's lesson. I then have a "teach" in which I model for students the lesson of the day and also have them try it out. When I think about my modeling I use three categories; skill, strategy, and process. I model by stating the skill to the students, then giving them a strategy in which to use the skill, followed by the process to try out the strategy.

Connect: I will say, “Now that we have two drafts to work with, you are going to get feedback from your peers about something we all need to work on as a class; spelling.”

Teach: I will say, “In order to get another person’s opinion on my writing, I am going to practice the skill of getting feedback on my spelling and the strategy of utilizing many peer editiors. The process I will use is as follows:

1) Set out both of my drafts

2) Have a peer look at my spelling and sentence structure.

3) Give feedback to my other peers in order to help them with their writing, but also my thinking

I will show the students how we are going to look through each other’s drafts for spelling (our new “look for” and sentence structure (something we have been consistently working on) today. I want to convey to them that spelling is important and something we all need to get better at. We don’t want to judge anyone harshly. 

Active Engagement

5 minutes

Active Engagement: I will say,”You will leave your draft with your feedback sheet on your desk. You will switch seats every five minutes and look at a peer’s writing just for spelling and sentence structure. Within the five minutes, you will write feedback in the form of a question on your peer’s rubric. I want you to think of a deep question that will help your partner’s thinking.”

I will give them examples of when they practiced questioning while reading drafts in the past. I will check for understanding by reading the question of every level of learner for the first rotation. (at least 3 students-one who is at standard, one is approaching standard, and one who is above standard). I will be looking to see if they are writing questions that will help their peers improve their writing.

Closing of Active Engagement:  I will say, “Remember, In order to get another person’s opinion on their writing, writers practice the skill of getting feedback on the different components of their writing and the strategy of utilizing many peer editiors. They use the process of have a peer look for a specific component their writing and also give feedback to their other peers in order to help them with their writing, but also their own thinking.”

Peer Feedback

25 minutes

Independent Practice: Students will then go through four more different rotations, looking for either spelling or sentence structure each time (directed by me). I will say, “I should not hear talking, because if you do not understand a part of your peer’s writing, then write your questions on the rubric.

Just like with real authors, if we don’t understand their stories, we can’t call them up and ask them.” In order to thoroughly read their partner’s writing and leave questions, this should take at least 20 mintues. As they are working independently and quietly, (I like to play classical or smooth jazz for“writing”music(I just create a play list on Pandora Internet radio).

Independent Practice

10 minutes

Independent Practice: I will show students how to work on correcting their spelling. If they are stuck on a word, I show them how to spell it three different ways in the column. They then pick one that “looks right,” then use the dictionary to look it up. For sentence structure I will go over with them again that when reading over your draft, one should read the last sentence first in order to isolate the sentence to see if it is grammatically correct. I will then give them time to edit.

Here is further explanation of "spelling three ways." Shout out to Kate Roberts for teaching me this!


I believe that the end of the lesson should be an assessment of the days’ learning; therefore it should be independent work. I always end class with an “exit ticket” in which students write down the response to a question.

Closing: For today they will take their writing home and continue to edit it based on their partners feedback.