Performance Task: Final Informative Consumer Guide | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G6:M3B:U3:L13

Performance Task: Final Informative Consumer Guide

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can write informative/explanatory texts that convey ideas and concepts using relevant information that is carefully selected and organized. (W.6.2)

    a. I can introduce the topic of my text.

    a. I can organize my information using various strategies (e.g., definition/classification, comparison/contrast, cause/effect).

    a. I can include headings, graphics, and multimedia to help readers understand my ideas.

    b. I can develop the topic with relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, and quotations.

    c. I can use transitions to clarify relationships among my ideas.

    d. I can use contextually specific language/vocabulary to inform or explain about a topic.

    e. I can establish and maintain a formal style in my writing.

    f. I can construct a concluding statement or section of an informative/explanatory text.

  • I can use evidence from a variety of grade-appropriate texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. (W.6.9)
  • I can apply sixth-grade reading standards to literary nonfiction (e.g., "Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not"). (W.6.9a)
  • I can use a variety of sentence structures to make my writing and speaking more interesting. (L.6.3a)
  • I can maintain consistency in style and tone when writing and speaking. (L.6.3b)
  • I can integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue. (RI.6.7)

Supporting Targets

  • I can use formative feedback from the teacher to revise my informative consumer guide.
  • I can use peer feedback to revise my writing to further meet the expectations of the rubric.
  • I can write a final draft of an interesting, accurate, and objective informative consumer guide.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Performance Task: Final draft of informative consumer guide


AgendaTeaching Notes

1.  Opening

A.  Unpacking Learning Targets (2 minutes)

2.  Work Time

A.  Reviewing Formative Feedback (5 minutes)

B.  Peer Critique: Stars and Steps (10 minutes)

C.  Creating the Final Copy (25 minutes)

3.  Closing and Assessment

A.  Debrief (3 minutes)

4.  Homework

A.  Continue reading your independent reading book.

  • Be prepared to give students feedback on their End of Unit 3 Assessments in this lesson. If you need more time to provide feedback, consider adding more lessons in which students read independently or are assessed on the independent reading standards RL.11a and RL.11b. See stand-alone document independent reading document, "Launching Independent Reading in Grades 6-8: Sample Plan," on
  • In previous lessons, students drafted and revised the written content of their informative consumer guide. In this lesson, students write/create their final, best version of their guide including the visual images, charts, and graphs. Depending on the technology students are using, this may require more time and instruction. If students are using computers, consider working with a media technology educator to help students learn the skills of constructing columns, text-wrapping and sizing graphics, and using different colors and sizes of fonts.
  • Before creating their final drafts, students participate in peer critiquing. Set up peer critiquing carefully to ensure students feel safe giving and receiving feedback. Students must be given a set of clear guidelines for behavior (see supporting materials), and they need to see the teacher model how to do it successfully. Asking students to provide feedback to their peers based on explicit criteria in the rubric benefits both parties in clarifying what a strong piece of writing should look like. Students can learn from both the strengths and weaknesses that they notice in the work of peers.
  • In advance:

-   Prepare the visual components for the final informative consumer guides. Students will need to be able to insert the visual components they have chosen into their guides.

-   Review: Peer critique guidelines.

  • Post: Learning targets.


formative feedback, peer critique


  • End of Unit 3 Assessment (from Lesson 10, returned in this lesson with teacher feedback)
  • Peer Critique Guidelines (one to display)
  • New York State Grades 6-8 Expository Writing Evaluation Rubric (from Lesson 1; one per student and one to display)
  • Stars and Steps recording form (one per student)
  • Performance Task Prompt: Informative Consumer Guide (from Lesson 1; one to display)
  • Row 3 of the New York State Grades 6-8 Expository Writing Evaluation Rubric: Self-Assessment (from Lesson 12; one per student)
  • Visual Component(s) (from Lesson 11; various per student)
  • Draft layout (from Lesson 11 homework; one per student)


OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Unpacking Learning Targets (2 minutes)

  • Direct students' attention to the posted learning targets and read them aloud:

*   "I can use formative feedback from the teacher to revise my informative consumer guide."

*   "I can use peer feedback to revise my writing to further meet the expectations of the rubric."

*   "I can write a final draft of an interesting, accurate, and objective informative consumer guide."

  • Invite students to Think-Pair-Share:

*   "What does formative feedback mean?"

  • Listen for and guide students to explain that formative feedback is where you get suggestions for how to improve your writing.
  • Invite students to Think-Pair-Share:

*   "What does peer critique mean?"

*   "Why is peer critiquing useful?"

  • Listen for: "Peer critique means to look at someone else's work and give them feedback that will help them improve their writing."
  • Clarify as needed, then ask:

*   "Now that you have seen the learning targets for this lesson, what do you think you will be doing today? Why?"

  • Ask for volunteers to share. Listen for: "Creating a final, best version of the informative consumer guide using the feedback from you and from the peer critique."
  • Learning targets are a research-based strategy that helps all students, especially challenged learners.
  • Posting learning targets allows students to reference them throughout the lesson to check their understanding. The learning targets also provide a reminder to students and teachers about the intended learning behind a given lesson or activity.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reviewing Formative Feedback (5 minutes)

  • Hand back students' End of Unit 3 Assessment with feedback.
  • Ask students to look over your comments quietly and independently and make sure they understand them.
  • Invite students to raise their hands to ask questions if they have them. Alternatively, create a "Help List" on the board and invite students to add their names to it if they need questions answered.
  • Remind students that this feedback helps them develop as a writer and that it takes practice. No one is born knowing how to write. Tell them to use the feedback to determine how they can improve the whole essay, not just where the teacher comments are.
  • Consider supporting some students by helping them make a next-steps list at the top of their draft. This helps students chunk the task for revision into smaller steps.
  • The use of leading questions in feedback helps struggling students understand what areas they should improve.

B. Peer Critique: Stars and Steps (10 minutes)

  • Remind students that a peer critique is when we look over someone else's work and provide that person with feedback. Explain that peer critiquing must be done carefully because we want to be helpful to our peers so they can use our suggestions to improve their work. We don't want to make them feel bad.
  • Post the Peer Critique Guidelines and invite students to read them with you.
  • Display the New York State Grades 6-8 Expository Writing Evaluation Rubric.
  • Ask students to take out their own copy of the rubric.
  • Focus students on Row 3: "Coherence, Organization, and Style." In Column 3, highlight/underline this section: "establish and maintain a formal style using precise language and domain-specific vocabulary."
  • Emphasize to students that their job is to make sure that their peers' writing maintains a formal style and uses domain-specific vocabulary as discussed in Lesson 10. Distinguish peer critiquing from proofreading; it is fine if they catch small errors in each other's work, but the goal is to make the thinking in the writing as strong as possible.
  • Tell students they will present feedback in the form of stars and steps. Remind them that they have done this in the first module. Today they will give one "star" and one "step" based on the criteria.
  • Briefly model how to give "kind, specific, helpful" stars. Be sure to connect your comments directly to the NYS Grades 6-8 Expository Writing Evaluation Rubric. For example: "You have maintained a formal style all of the way through."
  • Repeat, briefly modeling how to give "kind, specific, helpful" steps. For example: "Could you use more domain-specific vocabulary in this section; for example, rather than excess fish, could you use the term 'by-catch'?"
  • Emphasize that it is especially important to be kind when giving steps. Asking a question of the writer is often a good way to do this: "I wonder if ...?" "Have you thought about ...?"  "I'm not sure what you meant by ..."
  • Distribute the Stars and Steps recording form.
  • Explain that today, students will record the star and step for their partner on this sheet so their partners can remember the feedback they receive. They are to write the name of their partners at the top of their paper.
  • Pair up students. Invite pairs to swap their informative consumer guide drafts and to spend 3 minutes reading them in silence.
  • Ask students to record a star and step for their partner on the recording form.
  • Circulate to assist students who may struggle with articulating or recording their feedback.
  • Ask students to return the draft and the Stars and Steps recording form to their partners and explain the star and step they recorded for their partners.
  • Invite students to question their partners where they don't understand the star or step given.

C. Creating the Final Copy (25 minutes)

  • Display the Performance Task Prompt: Informative Consumer Guide.
  • Ask students to reread it to ground themselves again in what is expected of their work.
  • Invite students to use the feedback from the following to create the final copy of their informative consumer guides:

-   End of Unit 3 Assessment (today)

-   Step from the peer critique (today)

-   Row 3 of the New York State Grades 6-8 Expository Writing Evaluation Rubric: Self-Assessment (Lesson 12)

-   Visual Component(s) (Lesson 11)

-   Draft layout (Lesson 11 homework)

  • Ask students to begin working.
  • Circulate to assist as necessary.
  • Collect students' final informative consumer guides.

Closing & Assessments


A. Debrief (3 minutes)

  • Redirect students' attention to the posted learning targets.
  • Read each one aloud, pausing after each to ask students to show a Fist to Five to demonstrate how well they feel they have achieved the target.


  • Continue reading your independent reading book.

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