Chris Adcock
English Language Arts, Composition and Rhetoric
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
High School
  • Grade 11 ELA
  • Group Work
  • Papers
  • Peer Review
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial

    Peer Response Groups

    Peer Response Groups


    In this lesson, students will meet with their writing group to edit their papers. They'll learn the protocols and routines for responding to classmates' writing, and they will make a plan for revising their paper.


    • Read the lesson and student content.
    • Anticipate student difficulties and identify the differentiation options you will choose for working with your students.
    • Assign students to Peer Response Groups based on your knowledge of the students and their progress so far. Plan for the transition into groups. For example, will the furniture need to be rearranged?
    • A timer may be useful for this lesson.

    Supporting Each Other

    • Share an example from your own life to get the students thinking.
    • The purpose of this writing and sharing is to set the stage for students' Peer Response Groups. They will need to be honest and supportive, neither glossing over things that need improvement nor belittling their classmates' work in any way.
    • Use this time to set the protocols and norms for Peer Response Groups. It might be worth the time to do a couple of skits to demonstrate productive and unproductive conversations. SWD: Some students may have trouble figuring out what is constructive criticism in peer response situations. It may be helpful for these students to discuss the kinds of comments that they should avoid making as well as the ones that are appropriate.


    Respond to these prompts.

    • When in your life has someone helped you to get better at something? This could be anything—riding a bike, cooking a particular food, learning a new dance, skateboarding, mastering algebra.
    • Describe what this person did to help you improve.

    Open Notebook

    When you are finished, share your responses with your classmates. As you talk, think about these questions.

    • What types of support help people to improve?
    • How can you and your group members best support each other?

    Peer Response Groups

    • It may be helpful to use a timer to ensure that groups don't spend too long on any one paper so everyone has a chance to get feedback.If you feel it would be best to have students work in pairs due to time or other considerations, structure your class that way.
    • ELL: Offer some sentence frames to support ELLs as they give their feedback. Some examples are:

    ✓ I enjoyed your paper. There are many things I liked about it. I am wondering, however, if you can explain why . . .

    ✓ There are a few questions/concerns I have about your paper and I wonder if I can ask you about them . . . * SWD: If it works for your students, this is an opportunity to pair struggling writers with more proficient ones. * Circulate as groups work.

    Work Time

    Meet with your group members and share your papers. Follow the peer response protocol below and use the Grade 11 Argument Writing Rubric to give feedback to your group members.

    • Each writer, in turn, presents his or her paper to the group.
    • All group members should share their papers with all other group members, so that everyone can follow along with the writer who is sharing his or her work.
    • Assign each reader to be Reader 1, Reader 2, or Reader 3. Each reader will have tasks during the reading.
      • Reader 1 marks claims, reasons, evidence, and counterclaims.
      • Reader 2 marks lines that would appeal to a modern teenage audience and those that would not appeal to modern teens.
      • Reader 3 marks lines that support the message especially well and those that are confusing or unconnected to the main point.
    • First, the writer reads his or her paper aloud to the group members. (You can catch a number of errors and awkward phrasings when you read your work aloud.)
    • Each reader briefly summarizes what he or she learned. The goal is not to explain every single mark on the page (these will be shared with the writer), but to give your group and the writer a sense of where the paper currently stands in the aspect you were assessing. Provide positive feedback as well as constructive suggestions.
    • Finally, all group members— including the writer!—evaluate the paper using the Grade 11 Argument Writing Rubric.

    Open Notebook

    Planning for Paper Changes

    • Read through the responses before the next lesson.
    • Remind students to keep their notes in the draft document they began in Lesson 25 , Task 2 . ELL: Some ELLs may need extra guidance when deciding how to approach their revisions. Be prepared to offer additional support, whether through conferencing or via outlining or scaffolding tools, to help them do so.


    Respond to the prompt.

    • What was the most helpful feedback you received? List the changes you plan to make to your draft.

    Open Notebook

    Paper Revision

    • Encourage students to incorporate the feedback they found useful into their revision.


    You will only have one lesson to revise your paper in class.

    • Begin your revision for homework to ensure that you’ll have enough time.