Reflection: Lesson Planning Peer Critiquing a Book Review - Section 3: Ample Time to Finish


Over the many years I have taught seniors in composition and/or juniors and seniors in creative writing, I have experimented with various ways to structure peer critiquing.  I’ve been using the 1-on-1 writing conference and peer-critiquing since 1991, and I believe in these techniques and processes.

In fact, as my dissertation research showed, one of the most under utilized aspects of school curriculum is the peer-to-peer conference for improvements in writing.  (My dissertation focused on the use of a school-wide writing/literacy center, based around the work of student writing tutors.)  I, therefore, do a good deal of work with the peer-conference.  

However, I have found the peer-conference to be, at times, difficult to use, especially if students are not attuned to the nuances of the process.  Students often do not want to be “mean” (as they perceive) or they may even assume an indifferent stance.  Many conferences are too short and of little value to the writer, frequently ending in the empty advice to “add more details” or “fix some grammar.”  So, in order to make these conferences more meaningful from the beginning of the drafting process, I ask students to -- in a very deliberate way -- answer specific questions about the writing of their peers.

  reflection re: peer-critiquing
  Lesson Planning: reflection re: peer-critiquing
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Peer Critiquing a Book Review

Unit 5: Writing a Review
Lesson 6 of 6

Objective: SWBAT peer critique one another effectively in an effort to improve the book review.

Big Idea: peer critiquing is an important social skill as well as an important writing developmental skill

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