Constructive Criticism and Feedback Teacher Resources

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Primary grade children can excel as writers when presented with thoughtful and age-appropriate feedback.
November is NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month! If your class is participating (or simply doing a narrative writing unit), this peer review instructional activity is part of a larger unit which can be easily found online. Once your writers have some drafting completed, give them the opportunity to gain and appreciate constructive criticism from their peers. The focus here is to challenge writers deeper with their descriptions, so partners indicate where they would like to know more in the story. Remember to encourage this process as positive and not judgemental.
Why not turn your elementary class into novelists? They work through a series of writer's workshop activities to understand how to use description in their writing to establish plot and character. They also focus on peer evaluation and giving/receiving constructive criticism. Several worksheets are mentioned by not included.
Learning how to provide constructive criticism in a writing workshop is an essential skill. After responding to a prompt that asks them to write about a character who turns something rough or sparse into something beautiful, pupils use this piece of writing to serve as a metaphor for helping writers fix up their stories to make them great. Following the guidelines for reviewing another’s work and the ground rules established by the class, partners then share and respond to each other’s work.
Have your high schoolers practice their public speaking skills by writing an either/or speech. Individually, they complete an outline on what they want to discuss and give their speech to the class. To end the lesson, they complete a rubric for each speaker and offer constructive criticism.
What are the characteristics of a good piece of writing? What makes a story interesting? Give your pupils a chance to define the qualities of good novels and what they see as the qualities of bad novels. Class members record these characteristics on a “Good Novel, Bad Novel” worksheet and keep these responses in their writing notebooks. Part 2 of a series of lessons that prepare young writers to compose a novel. Referenced worksheets are not included, but can be found online.
Students use Glogster to create online reviews of books and films. In this online review lesson, students use the website to create an interactive poster that reviews a film or book. Students make comments and given feedback on each others' online work.
Kids take a critical look at each other's work in order to understand the editing process while providing constructive suggestions. This handout really sets learners up to successfully offer constructive critique to their peers. Helpful and not-so-helpful examples give clear depictions of what learners are to do (and not to do). As they work through the short-answer questions, they comment on the story elements, strong aspects, and areas for improvement.
Students share their own opinions about proper and poor etiquette in school. After reading an article, they discover matters of etiquette and conflict that occur during holiday rituals. They role-play the potential conflicts and resolutions. They also create posters advocating proper behavior and etiquette.
What is a Socratic Seminar? Discover this type of discussion and it functions. Split the class into two groups with Group A sitting in an inner circle and Group B in an outer circle. Each person in Group B is assigned to a person in Group A to keep track of their partners' comments and responses. Prior to conducting the seminar, practice with your class how to prepare open-ended questions about a text or issue.
Thinking of trying a fishbowl discussion? Follow the step-by-step instructions in this resource that not only details procedures but also suggests using Socratic, open-ended questions for discussion prompts.
Students explore surreal art and poetry. In this visual arts lesson plan, students examine works by André Breton, Robert Desnos, Salvador Dalí, and Joan Miro. Students then apply the techniques in the works they analyze to their own poetry.
Students create plastic bag costumes for a short scene developed in the classroom. Performances and assessment occur at the end of this quick lesson. A very creative mini-project for theatre arts classes.
In this activity students explore earth-friendly materials that can be used in home environments. They learn about the relationship between the environment and design, and use a variety of problem-solving strategies. They work in collaborative groups to research furniture, bedding, flooring, and other home products, and be given a budget to design a room. Students participate in a mock design award presentation highlighting their ideas.
Students analyze critical load and how to reinforce the design of a structure to hold more weight. They examine basic structures and which materials to select. They create a prototype to hold more and more weight.
Students, through a series of 4 lessons, explore what it means to revise their written work. They revise a bland story together and then practice revising their own papers by identifying the main action and "exploding" that moment into a more detailed description. They share their revised papers with the rest of the class.
Students correct and give feedback on written compositions. In this English lesson, students read each other’s composition and provide constructive feedback about the writing. Giving a mini lecture on how to give correct feedback before this activity sends the students in the right direction.  
Pupils write a well-organized persuasive essay which contains a thesis, supporting evidence, and uses at least one of the three persuasive appeals. They evaluate a peer's essay for correct use of the above elements.
Students compose myths.  In this creative writing instructional activity students  use their knowledge of the features of myths to compose their own, then share with a peer for feedback.
Students research the life of the Wright brothers or another famous person, write a draft biography, peer edit, make edits, and share the final biography with a younger reader. Lesson can be adapted for younger and older learners.

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