Read Aloud Peer Review

This teaching strategy has been adapted for use in UK classrooms from our Common Core-Aligned Writing Prompts supplements.

Rationale

Hearing paragraphs and essays read aloud can be a helpful step in the editing process because it allows students to notice things that they may miss when reading their writing silently to themselves. It also gives students the chance to offer feedback on another’s work. Reading an essay aloud with a peer can, therefore, help students redraft their work, whilst also developing their ability to give and receive constructive criticism. 

As with all reading and writing tasks, students benefit from seeing models so they understand the procedure and have an opportunity to ask questions. Thus, before students practise this strategy with their own writing, we recommend that you model the process with a sample piece of writing. Read aloud a sample paragraph at an appropriate speed so that the listener can process the information and frame revision suggestions in a positive manner that uses the terms students have been learning: inference, claim, evidence, and analysis. 

Procedure

  1. Have Students Pair Up: While students can read their own paragraph or essay aloud, it can also be useful for them to hear their writing read by someone else. It is best to pair students up for this exercise and have them sit side by side so they can both see the piece of writing and track the text as one student reads. 
  2. Read-Aloud (Round One): Have students trade pieces of writing. Then, have the first student read their partner’s paragraph or essay out loud. They should read at an appropriate speed without stopping. The writer should follow along, making check marks in the margins on lines that need revision. 
  3. Note-Taking and Debrief: Next, the pair should discuss the paragraph and record notes about sections that need revision. They may even make some revisions at this time. To guide their discussion, consider projecting or writing up the following questions: 
    • What are two strengths of this piece of writing? 
    • How could the writer improve their claims and/or presentation of evidence?
    • How could the writer improve how they link their ideas together? 
    • What class resources should the writer review when they revise their writing (handouts, certain pages of the play, class notes, journal entries)? Be specific!
  4. Repeat (Round Two): Repeat the read-aloud, note-taking, and debrief steps with the second piece of writing to give both students the opportunity to hear their paragraph or essay read aloud and to receive feedback to guide their revision process. 

    For more teaching strategies designed for UK Educators, view our PDF resource Teaching Strategies.

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