Writing an Argumentative Essay: Peer Critique | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G7:M2A:U1:L17

Writing an Argumentative Essay: Peer Critique

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence. (W.7.1)
  • I can produce clear and coherent writing that is appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (W.7.4)
  • 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 select evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. (W.7.9)

Supporting Targets

  • I can critique my partner's use of evidence using criteria from the Lyddie argument rubric.
  • I can revise my work by incorporating helpful feedback from my partner.
  • I can write an organized argument essay about Lyddie.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Essay plan
  • Entry Task

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Entry Task: Draft a Quote Sandwich (10 minutes)

B. Reviewing Learning Targets (3 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Peer Critique Protocol (15 minutes)

B. Begin Essay Writing (15 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Debrief Learning Targets (2 minutes)

4. Homework

A. Read chapters 20-23 of Lyddie and complete Reader's Notes for Chapters 20, 21, 22, and 23. This is due in Lesson 19. 

  • This lesson includes peer critique. Critiques simulate the experiences students will have in the workplace and thus help build a culture of achievement, collaboration, and open-mindedness in your classroom.
  • This peer critique protocol is similar to the Praise-Question-Suggest protocol (see Appendix 1). This is done intentionally to build student capacity. Students engaged in a similar protocol in Module 1, Unit 3, Lesson 4.
  • In the second half of this lesson, students begin the draft of their essay about Lyddie signing the petition. In order for students to have enough time to be successful, they will finish their essays in the next lesson.
  • Consider posting a list of the resources available to help students write their essays. The list includes:

*     Lyddie's Decision anchor chart

*     Working Conditions in Lyddie: Textual Evidence Note-catcher

*     Essay planners

*     Forming Evidence-Based Claims graphic organizers with reasons Lyddie should sign and reasons she should not sign.

*     Reader's Notes

*     Working Conditions anchor chart

  • During Work Time Part B, students have time to begin writing their essays. This lesson is written assuming the use of computers to draft the essays in order to make revisions in Lesson 20 easier.
  • Consider the setup of your classroom if you are using laptops. Because students can distract themselves on computers, think about positioning the desks so that it is easy to scan the screens throughout the lesson.
  • If your students are not familiar with expectations about computer use in the classroom, explain them at the beginning of work time.
  • If computers are not available to you, consider giving students more time to write by hand.
  • In advance: Post learning targets.
  • Set up the classroom as needed, considering computer use.

Vocabulary

critique, incorporate feedback

Materials

  • Entry task (one per student)
  • Lyddie Essay Planner (from Lesson 16; students completed it for homework)
  • Peer Critique Expectations and Directions (one to display)
  • Peer Critique recording form (one per student)
  • Writing Improvement Tracker (one per student)

Opening

Opening

A. Entry Task: Draft a Quote Sandwich (10 minutes)

  • Distribute the entry task as students come in and ask them to get out their Lyddie essay planner. Prompt students to look at their essay planners and choose the reason in one of their body paragraphs to focus on. Then choose one piece of evidence from that paragraph to turn into a quote sandwich. Remind them that a quote sandwich means they introduce the quote, include the quote, and explain how the quote supports the reason in that paragraph. Remind them also that they have practiced quote sandwiches orally and found them in the model essay.

B. Reviewing Learning Targets (3 minutes)

  • Read the learning targets out loud:

*     "I can critique my partner's use of evidence using criteria from the Lyddie argument rubric."

*     "I can revise my work by incorporating helpful feedback from my partner."

*     "I can write an organized argument essay about Lyddie."

  • Ask students to make a prediction, based on the learning targets, about what they will do today. Tell them to raise their hand when they have thought of a prediction. When most students have their hands up, cold call on one or two. Listen for them to say: "We are going to give peer feedback on something about our essay," or "We're going to do a peer critique, like we did with our two-voice poems." Confirm and clarify, if necessary, that the focus of class today will be a peer critique protocol to improve their quote sandwiches.
  • Remind students that peer critique reflects what people often do in their lives outside school. In their work, people get feedback to improve. Also, giving feedback can often provide new ideas for one's own work.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Peer Critique Protocol (15 minutes)

  • Tell students that they will engage in a peer critique protocol today to get feedback on their quote sandwich.
  • 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 essay plan.

*     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 quote sandwich.
  • 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.
  • Pass out the Peer Critique recording form. Tell students that they will focus their feedback using criteria from the Lyddie argument rubric that focuses on claims, reasons, and evidence. Review the criteria as shown on the top of the Peer Critique recording form. 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.
  • Pair up students. Invite them 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 criteria of the rubric focused on claim, reasons, and evidence. Consider using this time to address questions or support students who need it.
  • Refocus the whole group. Acknowledge any students who demonstrated positive traits, such as accepting feedback openly or giving thoughtful feedback in a kind manner.
  • Invite students to revise their quote sandwich. Point out that feedback may not always be helpful. It is up to the author to decide what feedback will help improve his/her work. Take this opportunity to informally look over students' work to make sure they are using the feedback well and focusing on annotating the boxes where they need to make changes.
  • 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. Then, during peer critique time, spend time working with those pairs.

B. Begin Essay Writing (15 minutes)

  • When students are done revising their quote sandwich, ask them to begin writing their essay.Remind students of the following:

*     To use the ideas and evidence in their planners to write their essay drafts.

*     They will be turning in their drafts at the end of the next lesson.

*     They will have the opportunity to revise for conventions after they get their first draft back.

  • Emphasize the importance of saving their work often as they are typing. Let them know in what form (email, printed, saved to server, etc.) they will be turning in their draft at the end of the class.
  • As students are working, circulate around the room. Since this is an assessment, students should work independently.
  • One of the goals of the scaffolding in the previous lessons is to support all students in writing their essays, including SPED and ELL students. As much as possible, this draft should be done independently. However, there is space during Work Time to check in with students who need more support.
  • In order to give more support, consider:

*     Prompting them to look at their essay planner to remind them of their claim and/or the evidence they gathered

*     Asking questions like: "How does that evidence support your claim?" or "How are those ideas connected?"

  • Reminding them of the resources available to help them 

Closing & Assessments

Closing

A. Debrief Learning Targets (2 minutes)

  • Read the learning targets out loud:

*     "I can critique my partner's use of evidence using criteria from the Lyddie argument rubric."

*     "I can revise my work by incorporating helpful feedback from my partner."

*     "I can write an organized argument essay about Lyddie."

  • Ask students to turn and talk with an elbow partner about which learning target they feel they are the strongest at and why. 

Homework

Homework
  • Continue reading Chapters 20-23 of Lyddie and complete Reader's Notes for Chapters 20, 21, 22, and 23. This is due in Lesson 19.

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