To begin the class, I have the students take out the Poetry Reflection they completed as part of the previous day's lesson. I then mix up the papers and pass them out, ensuring that each student has the reflection of a peer. Once this happens, I ask the students to read over the reflection and then write a 1-2 paragraph response directly to the author.
I like this process because it not only gives students an outlet to communicate their thoughts, ideas, and feelings, but it allows them to validate and support one another. I am asking them not only to evaluate their own thoughts and feelings about the lesson, the poems, and the concepts we practiced, but also to evaluate and communicate with a peer about his or hers. It is also an excellent way to prepare them for the next activity. As students are reading and responding to one another, I walk around the room and read over their shoulders. This allows me to get a litmus test of where the students are at and how they are feeling.
Once all students have completed their Poetry Activity Student Interactive Reflections, they pass them back to the original author and review the response they received. The students will then take that feedback with them into their group meetings. I have the students get into the groups they worked with during the previous class. In these groups, students will share out their findings and the key information they received in the previous activity. This opportunity to discuss with one another helps the students to learn how to better collaborate with one another through clear and open communication, centered upon constructive feedback and a commitment to continuous improvement.
As the discussions start to wrap up, I go through the room and pass back the poster to each group, like Gallery Example 1 and Gallery Example 2, that they started and ended with in the previous class. Using the feedback they provided one another, the students are then given the remainder of the class period to re-analyze their poem and complete any tasks necessary to the appropriate level of completion.