Inquiry Question: Does peer feedback using technology improve students' physical and facial expression in the performance of an original theater piece?
The Arts Achieve Assessments revealed that the 5th grade students failed to demonstrate an awareness of physicality in their performance of improvised scene work. To address this gap we paid close attention to physicality in the development of the students’ original performance pieces for Black History Month. In preparation, students read and applied knowledge from nonfiction sources, creating original scenes based on source material from the Civil Rights Movement.
We designed a process of peer feedback that integrated technology to assess and revise small group scene work in this Playmaking Unit. Students created characters and scenes based on Civil Rights heroes’ biographies, photos of actual events, and selected scripts written about major events in the Civil Rights Struggle. After reading and discussing the material, each small group decided on a focus for their scene and developed these through a tableau process that captured the essence and sequence of their scene.
The playmaking unit was integrated with formative assessment strategies and technology to support student achievement. In the unit students:
- Documented their performance work with an I-Pad utilizing the Explain Everything app.
- Developed initial criteria for a rubric based on observations of their peer’s tableau work. These criteria guided the peer feedback and revision process.
- Documented the progression of their small group scene work on their I-Pads and recorded their oral and written feedback in the app.
- Engaged in collaborative discussions to select the feedback that would inform their revisions.
- Noted rehearsal goals and reflected on these on the I-Pads.
- Recorded the work of other small group ensembles midway through the unit and provided feedback. I-Pads were exchanged among the groups and all received feedback from other peer ensembles.
- Received ongoing teacher feedback throughout the rehearsal process as were opportunities for setting rehearsal goals and revision of scene work.
Use of Technology
Students used iPads to:
- document their performance work utilizing the Explain Everything app.
- document the progression of their small group scene work and record their oral and written feedback in the app
- note rehearsal goals and reflect on them
- record the work of other small group ensembles midway through the unit and provide feedback