Last week we worked on writing Odes. As we moved into revising and editing our poems, I realized many students weren't doing a solid job identifying where their Odes needed improvement. We'd invested a lot of time writing them, and I didn't want to abandon the hard work we'd accomplished thus far, but I also knew that I needed to tweak my approach to these phases in the writing process, or we would all feel discouraged about the work we'd done.
Enter The Five BIG Questions
After providing each student with a formal copy, I introduced The Five BIG Questions. I explained that I knew they were struggling with making improvements to their Odes, and we needed a different approach in addition to the Tell-Show, which we'd already tried using without a lot of success. Those students who had shared with the entire class weren't receiving helpful feedback.
The previous week we'd read several sample Odes, which we analyzed carefully for: imagery, figurative language, organization, format, etc. to establish some criteria for what makes a well-written Ode. Using a student-written sample from this same collection, I asked for a volunteer to read it aloud.