English Language Arts
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
High School
  • Grade 12 ELA
  • Narratives
  • Writing
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial

    Essay Critical Review

    Essay Critical Review


    One important skill a writer must develop is to look critically at his or her own work, identifying areas that need improvement and learning how to ask for thoughtful, targeted feedback. In this lesson, students will ask their peers for help with areas of their narrative they are struggling with.


    • Read the lesson and student content.
    • Anticipate student difficulties and identify the differentiation options you will choose for working with your students.

    Requests for Feedback

    • You may want to model appropriate requests for feedback. For example, students might want to make sure their readers understand their message the way it was intended, or they may want help developing a character or framing a conclusion.


    Think about the progress you have made so far on your draft. What would you most like your group members to help you with today?

    • List 1–3 questions or requests for feedback.

    Open Notebook

    Peer Response Groups

    • Remind your students of the norms for peer response groups.
    • Circulate as students work; if it seems appropriate to confer with individual students, do so.
    • As in Lesson 20, you may decide to alter this protocol if you feel it will work better for your students to do so. If the drafts are lengthy and your students are skilled writers, they may benefit more from reading and editing their group members’ work silently rather than aloud.
      • SWD: Providing feedback requires a very good and solid understanding of the topic and the ability to discern gaps. Be sure that all SWDs are able to do this activity successful. If that is not the case, offer support.
      • ELL: Remind students who come from cultures where critiquing is not regarded as something positive that in this country we appreciate clear and specific feedback, and we consider it an important element in improving ourselves and our work.

    Work Time

    Today’s group work is very similar to the previous peer response work. All group members share their work electronically with the whole group and then, in turn, each member will do the following steps.

    • Request 1–3 specific areas he or she would like the group’s help. Possible requests include the following:
      • Language use (verb choice, sentence length, descriptive language, and so on)
      • Communication of the message
      • Clarity and/or effectiveness of introduction and/or conclusion
      • Character development
      • Portrayal of conflict and/or growth
      • Other—anything you want help with!
    • Read his or her work aloud.
    • Receive feedback from the group.

    Remember to keep your comments useful and constructive.

    Most Useful Feedback

    • If time allows, hear and recognize some of the valuable contributions group members have made to each other’s work.


    Complete a Quick Write.

    • What was the most useful feedback you received from your group?
    • List the changes you plan to make in your revision.

    Open Notebook

    Your Personal Narrative

    • Students are now beginning their final drafts.


    Consider the feedback you received and the changes you plan to make to your revision.

    • Work on your revision. You will have one more lesson to work on it in class.