Lesson Plan Title: Sharing, Pointing, Doubting
Grade Level: 9-12
Duration: 50 minutes
Description: In order to help each other identify the strengths and weaknesses of their persuasive essays, students will share their work and respond to their classmates' work in class.
Student Objectives: Students will give and receive clear, honest, constructive feedback.
1. Paper and pen
Set Up and Prepare: Students must bring a typed, double-spaced copy of their persuasive essay to class.
Directions: Break students down into groups of three. Have them sit in small triangles.
Step 1: Instruct students in groups to read their essays out loud. Ask students who aren't reading to listen closely, take notes, but not to respond orally. After each essay is read, have students orally summarize for each other what they heard as the main ideas raised by each piece.
Step 2: Have students in groups pass their essays - clockwise - to the person on their right. Tell students to read through the essays one time. Instruct them to draw straight lines under passages, words, and phrases that strike them as working well, and wavy lines under passages that are confusing. When they are done with one essay, have students pass it to their right.
Step 3: Instruct students in groups to exchange essays again, this time to the left - or counterclockwise. Tell students to doubt everything they read, even if they personally agree with it. Have them respond to each essay by writing - point-by-point - counter-arguments on a separate piece of paper. Remind students that this is an exercise and that their points should be well reasoned and constructive. At the end of the exercise, have the students had each other written feedback.
Assess Students: Were students able to provide each other with clear, constructive feedback?
Lesson Extension: Encourage students to take the time to read and consider all of the feedback they received on their first drafts.
Evaluate Lesson: Did students take the lesson seriously? Were they able to focus on each other's work for the entire period?
Assignments: Have students take their feedback home and revise their draft based on what they learned from their classmates. They should bring a second draft to the next class.