Chris Adcock
English Language Arts
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
High School
  • American Dream
  • Essay
  • Grade 11 ELA
  • Peer Review
  • Slogans
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial

    Peer Review: Short Essays

    Peer Review: Short Essays


    In this lesson, students will have time to continue working on their short essays with support from you and their peers.


    • Read the lesson and student content.
    • Anticipate student difficulties and identify the differentiation options you will choose for working with your students.
    • Decide how you will put students in groups for the tasks in this lesson and think about how they will share their introductions and comments with one another if Internet connectivity is not available.
    • Decide how you will have students conference with you and each other on their writing.

    Introduction Share and Feedback

    • Have students read their own introductions and emphasize how doing this can reinforce the ownership of the work and speed up the share time.
    • Make sure students can share their introductions and comments with one another.
    • If students draft the essay in the Notebook, they may wish to keep all notes and writing on the same page.


    In small groups, share your introductions using the following instructions.

    • Take turns reading each introduction from the homework out loud.
    • Comment out loud and in writing on the effectiveness and clarity of each group member’s introduction.

    As you listen to your classmates’ advice, take notes on how to improve your own introduction. Make sure each group member receives both oral and written feedback from you.

    Reflection on Feedback

    • Students should reflect on the feedback they received.
    • Check that students are writing down at least one idea that they will follow up with from the feedback they receive.
    • Ask students to share feedback, and capture it on the board for students who did not get useful feedback or feedback that they want to implement.
      • ELL: This can be a good opportunity to model the language used in peer feedback for these students. Consider saving examples of productive feedback for later use on other writing assignments.

    Work Time

    Reflect in writing.

    • What feedback from your peer group did you find most helpful? Why?
    • Write down one idea you will pursue as you continue writing the essay.

    Open Notebook

    Quotations and Support

    • Students should work to find quotes that support the thesis they generated.
    • Students should mark questions and make notes in the text for easier reference later.
      • SWD: If time allows, model this process using the Think Aloud method, making clear the process of connecting the questions about the text to quotations from the text.
      • ELL: Help students identify key words and phrases to help them identify applicable quotations. It may be beneficial for these students to work with a partner, and if possible, discuss the assignment in their primary language.
    • If you feel it would serve your class, review the basics of good body paragraphs and conclusions.

    Work Time

    Revisit the short story you are writing about.

    • First, find quotes from the text to support your ideas and thesis.
    • Then continue working on your essay. Be sure to build your ideas around the quotations you found in the text.

    Open Notebook

    Writing Process Reflection

    • Introduce effective peer and teacher conferencing practices.
    • Appropriate collaboration with a peer or conferencing with you is an excellent way to get quick feedback and support during the writing process.


    Take a moment to consider what part of writing the essay you are still having difficulty with.

    • Make a note of your thoughts and briefly conference with your teacher or a classmate for help.

    Open Notebook

    Full Essay Draft

    • Let your students know how you want them to share the essay draft with you.
    • Encourage students to meet with you before the essay is due. Writing conferencing can allow students to present questions to you that they didn't think of in class or that their peer partner couldn't help with.
    • Remind students of any specific requirements for the essay.
      • SWD: Students who struggle with writing may benefit from having additional time to work on the assignment. Plan this time together with the student, identifying clear goals and a date when you will expect a draft for review. Provide editorial feedback promptly, so that students have time to incorporate it into their work.


    • Complete a full working draft for the next lesson.

    Submit your draft to your teacher.