Engaging Peers to Revise Essential Question Essays

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SWBAT strengthen their essential question essays by engaging in peer revision.

Big Idea

Before students can celebrate their learning, they have provide feedback and revise, revise, revise!

Let's Get Started: Reviewing Revision Protocols

15 minutes

As the students arrive, I tell them to get out a piece of scrap paper.  I tell them that they have five minutes to write down the revision protocols, which we have reviewed in previous peer review lessons and are listed below.  Before they can participate in revision they have to know their responsibilities in the process. They can work in groups (SL 9-10. 1) and use their notebooks to make sure they have the right information.  The EQ essay is a synthesis project.  I expect them to demonstrate that they know how to initiate and complete peer revision without me providing direction. The basics for peer revision in my class are:

1. Silent self-review (make last minute corrections)

2. Get in groups of three, and read aloud.  Each person reads their essay and the students give them verbal feedback. 

3. First exchange.  The first person in their group reads the essay silently and makes suggestions on content and organization.

4. Pass to the second reviewer for comments on diction and sentence structure.

5. Essay comes back to writer to review comments.  Students discuss comments for clarification. (W 9-10 .5)

After about five minutes, I ask for volunteers to explain the process.  I also ask for a volunteer to write the protocols on the board. I give them a little help when necessary.  My students still need to build their confidence when it comes to leading the class.  The Common Core shift to student driven instruction is challenging for both students and teachers.  


Applying Knowledge: Peer Revision of EQ Essays

65 minutes

Once the protocol are on the board, I turn them loose to revise their essays (W 9-10. 5).  Students self-select their team. I walk around the room and answer questions when asked.  I try not to comment unless a student is way off track or a student asks a specific question. This final EQ paper should demonstrate their ability to craft an essay with in text citations in MLA format with minimal support from me.  I want them to master not only writing argumentative essays but also using their own resources to be successful. 

The students may not be confident in explaining protocols, however, I see amazing growth in their ability to engage in a meaningful dialogue about the content, specifically the claim the organization of supporting evidence, of their essays.  The student revision discussion is the last step in the process. But once students begin to take ownership of their role as revisers, the discussion becomes integrated into the steps. Students need to transfer the ability to use evidence to support a claim from their essay into their Celebration of Learning presentation. The Celebration of Learning is their final for this class. These videos of their celebration of learning are from the final presentations and demonstrate how the students used evidence in their presentation. 

Wrap Up: Next Steps

5 minutes

I remind them that their papers are due to Edmodo at the end of the next class. Students will have class time during the next class to type their papers, work on revisions, or work on their presentations.