Peer Critique: Use of Evidence in the Two-Voice Poem | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G7:M1:U3:L4

Peer Critique: Use of Evidence in the Two-Voice Poem

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • With support from peers and adults, I can use a writing process to ensure that purpose and audience have been addressed. (W.7.5)
  • I can produce clear and coherent writing that is appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (W.7.4)

Supporting Targets

  • I can critique my partner's two-voice poem using the rubric.
  • I can revise my work by incorporating feedback from my partner. 

Ongoing Assessment

  • Two-voice poem drafts


AgendaTeaching Notes

1.  Opening 

A. Review Learning Targets Entry Task (5 minutes)

2.  Work Time 

A. Set Expectations for Peer Critique (5 minutes) 

B. Peer Critique Protocol (20 minutes)

C. Incorporating Peer Feedback to Revise Two-Voice Poem (10 minutes)

3.  Closing and Assessment 

A. Revisit Learning Targets (3 minutes)

B. Reminder about End of Unit Assessment (2 minutes)

4.  Homework

A. Revise Two-Voice Poem

  • This lesson includes peer critique. Critiques simulate the experiences students will have in the workplace and thus help build a culture of achievement in your classroom.
  • In the final performance task in Unit 3, Lesson 6, students will be reading their two-voice poems with a partner. To give students an opportunity to become familiar with each other's poems, the partner they work with during this lesson should be the same person with whom they will read their poem in Lesson 6. 
  • If your students are unfamiliar with peer critique, consider assigning them to groups of three. Include at least one student in each group who you think will give strong feedback. Doing so can help students become more familiar with the process. 
  • To show students how to incorporate feedback, this lesson plan suggests asking a student volunteer to share her or his work and the feedback s/he received from peers. Read Work Time Part C to understand this process and how to prepare in advance with this student volunteer (at the end of Work Time B). 
  • An alternative is to use the "sample" poem (see supporting materials) to critique.  
  • This "sample" poem is different from the model poem students have seen in previous lessons: the sample poem.  If you choose to demonstrate peer critique using this sample poem, see the document called Peer Critique recording form for the sample poem (in supporting materials) as a reference. Then prepare to think aloud about how you, if you were the author of the sample poem, might incorporate the feedback on this peer critique form in order to revise. 
  • This peer critique protocol is similar to the Praise-Question-Suggest protocol. That is used intentionally to build student capacity. Students will engage in a similar protocol in Module 2.
  • Pair students up for two-voice poem work. 
  • Post: Peer Critique Expectations and Directions


critique, incorporate feedback 


  • Entry task (one per student)
  • Peer Critique Expectations and Directions (one to display)
  • Peer Critique recording form (one per student)
  • Document camera
  • Sample poem for revision (one to display; see Teaching Note above)
  • Peer Critique recording form for sample poem (for Teacher Reference)


OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Review Learning Targets Entry Task (5 minutes) 

  • As students enter the room, distribute the entry task
  • Give students 3 minutes to complete the task. Then, ask them to share their answers with a partner. 
  • Cold call a pair to explain what critique means. Listen for: "Critique means to give feedback" or "Critique means to say what's good and what needs to be improved." Clarify if necessary. Add that, as a part of giving feedback, it is often helpful to ask the author questions. For instance: "Can you explain why you are having the character say that?" or "What does the character mean by that?" 
  • Repeat with incorporate feedback. Listen for students to say: "use suggestions to make our poems better."
  • Explain to students that today they will work with a partner to critique each other's poems, and then incorporate the feedback to improve their own poem.
  • Asking students to provide feedback to their peers based on explicit criteria benefits both students in clarifying the meaning of the learning target. 
  • Consider pairing students who need extra support together. Then, during peer critique time, spend time working with those pairs.  

Work Time

Work Time

A. Set Expectations for Peer Critique (5 minutes)

  • Tell students that they will engage in a peer critique protocol today to get feedback to help improve their two-voice poem. 
  • Invite students to look at the Peer Critique Expectations and Directions. Review the expectations. Let students know that these four points are crucial for success:  

Be kind: Always treat others with dignity and respect. This means we never use words that are hurtful, including sarcasm.

Be specific: Focus on particular strengths and weaknesses, rather than making general comments such as "It's good" or "I like it." Provide insight into why it is good or what, specifically, you like about it.

Be helpful: The goal is to contribute positively to the individual, not simply to be heard. Be sure your comments contribute to improving your partner's poem before you say them.  

Participate: Peer critique is a process to support each other, and your feedback is valued!

  • Explain the steps for the peer critique. Emphasize that this is focused only on the Command of Evidence row of the rubric. 
  • Ask students to give you a thumbs-up if they understand the directions or a thumbs-down if they aren't sure. Call on a student with a thumbs-up to explain again. Listen for the student to paraphrase the posted expectations and directions. If there is any confusion, clarify for the class. 
  • Distribute the Peer Critique recording form. 
  • Tell students that they will focus their feedback using the Command of Evidence row on the two-voice poem rubric. Review the criteria in the Command of Evidence row. Remind students that, for this feedback to be helpful, they should focus only on this specific area and should give lots of feedback. Pointing out misspelled words or incorrect punctuation will not be helpful at this point in the writing process.
  • Let students know that the partner with whom they are working today will be the same as the person who will hear their two-voice poem in Lesson 6. This gives them a chance to become familiar with their partner's poem.

B. Peer Critique Protocol (20 minutes) 

  • Invite students to sit with their partner and begin the protocol. 
  • As students are giving each other feedback, circulate around the room. Make sure they are focused on the Command of Evidence criteria of the rubric. Consider using this time to address questions or support students who need it. 
  • Also during this time, privately ask for a student volunteer to share her/his poem and Peer Critique recording form for you to model how to incorporate feedback. 

C. Incorporating Peer Feedback to Revise Two-Voice Poem (10 minutes)

  • Refocus the whole group. Display the student volunteer's poem or the sample poem on the document camera
  • If using a student's poem, ask him or her to read it aloud, or you read it aloud for the class. Then ask him or her to display his/her Peer Critique recording form. Invite the student to think out loud about specific feedback received and how it might be used to revise the poem. Guide or model as needed (e.g., asking: "So what do you think you will do about that piece of feedback?" or "If I were you, I might think about ... when I revised." 
  • If using the sample poem, read it aloud. Then display the Peer Critique recording form and model how you might incorporate feedback if this were your poem. (See the Peer Critique recording form for sample poem, for teacher reference)
  • Point out that feedback may not always be helpful. For instance, in the sample poem, one suggestion is to take out the quote that says: "Every year when the rains stopped and the pond near the village dried up," (26), but this idea actually helps develop the main idea. It is up to the author to determine what feedback to incorporate. 
  • Invite students to begin revising their poems. While they are working, circulate around the room. Take this opportunity to informally look over students' work to make sure they are using the feedback well and focusing on annotating the lines where they need to make changes. 

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Revisit Learning Targets (3 minutes) 

  • Reread the learning targets. Ask students to turn to a partner and talk about the most helpful piece of feedback they received and how it helped them.  
  • Checking in with learning targets helps students assess their own learning. This research-based strategy supports struggling learners most.

B. Reminder about End of Unit Assessment (2 minutes)

  • Remind students that the End of Unit Assessment is tomorrow and will focus on choosing the best evidence to support a claim.


  • Make all revisions to your two-voice poem. 

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