Using Models of Assignments

This practice asks teachers to provide models of assignments for students to analyze and reflect upon.

Many times, students see school work as something to be completed quickly so they can get to the next activity.  Spending time looking at sample work and analyzing strengths and challenges in the work, allows students to focus on the process of learning and understanding the importance of making progress as a learner instead of seeking perfection.

Strategy summary:

Find (or create) a model of an upcoming assignment, write sample feedback on the model and copy.  Then share this model with students and ask them to write feedback and make revision suggestions.  To watch how other teachers use peer critique in their classroom, watch Expeditionary Learning's video titled 

How to:

  1. Select a completed sample assignment to copy and share with students.  This can be an assignment that was completed from previous years, or you can do the assignment yourself.   You can share just one sample or more than one.   If you decide to share a number of papers with students, be sure to have models from a variety of levels of success.
  2.  Before you copy the model, write a few comments on the sample(s) so students can see an example of how they can give feedback.
  3. Individually or in groups, ask student to read and write feedback on the assignment.  Provide the rubric for the assignment.  For more information about rubrics, go to NCTE's read/write/think resource .
  4. Have a class discussion on the strengths and struggles of the samples.
  5. Discuss revision ideas for assignment.
 Give feedback