Inquiry Question: Do peer and self-assessment in conjunction with improvisation improve students’ ability to analyze, create and perform scripted scenes?
The Arts Achieve assessments identified a gap in 8th grade students’ abilities to construct a scripted scene. To address this challenge, the teacher identified clear learning targets for each session of the playwriting unit. A series of criterion-based checklists were designed and integrated into the unit to improve students’ revision process and focus students’ self-assessment and peer feedback (see Criteria Checklist: Monologues and Scenes and Task Sheets).
The Playwriting Unit is focused on creating original monologues and scenes focused on the social issues of peer mistreatment and bullying. Students identify a personal area of interest within the theme being explored and engage in research that will inform their acting and writing processes. Students then improvise scenes and develop narratives around the common theme of bullying.
To better support student achievement of both Common Core ELA standards in writing and NYC Blueprint Standards in Theater, students were provided with a series of detailed checklists to assess their own and their peers’ written monologues and scenes. Peer feedback guided by the criteria checklists was provided both in written and oral forms. The Ladder of Feedback Protocol was used to structure specific, constructive critique that would inform revision of monologues and scenes. At the end of the unit, the teacher used the Monologue and Scene Checklists to summatively assess the written monologue and scene work and give students their Playwriting Unit grades.