Reflection: Backwards Planning Critically Speaking: Concise Analysis via Critical Comments - Section 3: Taking Time to Write: Critical Comments as In-Class, Timed Writes


In Understanding by Design, Grant Wiggins emphasizes the need for teachers to plan with the end in mind. This idea of "Backward Design" seems so common sensical to me as I have always thought about where I want students to be at the end of the year in terms of their growth as students. For example, I know they will complete their senior projects next trimester and that what I have them do in my class now matters to that task. 

This is why ongoing assessment, both formative and summative is so vital to student success. I began the Chaucer unit with a mini-unit on satire because I had The Canterbury Tales and their function as satire on my mind. 

Once we began working on The Canterbury Tales, I referenced our work w/ satire often and had in mind finishing the unit w/ critical comments. This is why I kept pushing students to work on and understand SOAPSTone, why I had them complete the virtues task from earlier in the unit, why I used the interactive summaries as an assignment preceding the critical comment task. I talk about these things in class, knowing not all will listen or hear but for those who do, the reward will be sweet. 

  As with "A," Assessment Begins at the Beginning
  Backwards Planning: As with "A," Assessment Begins at the Beginning
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Critically Speaking: Concise Analysis via Critical Comments

Unit 7: Take a Little Trip: The Middle Ages and Chaucer
Lesson 11 of 11

Objective: SWBAT critique a tale from "The Canterbury Tales" by composing a critical comment.

Big Idea: Use concise writing to construct a tightly structured critique.

  Print Lesson
English / Language Arts, Literature, Fictional Literature, The Canterbury Tales, Critical Comment, assessment
  55 minutes
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