Use these anchor essays (exemplars) to engage students with inquiry and cooperative learning. Students evaluate exemplar essays to improve their own writing. Furthermore, this lesson could also be used as a diagnostic writing assessment.
In the lesson, students read two poems and respond to a literary analysis prompt requiring them to identify central ideas and synthesize their reading. Then they read and analyze essay exemplars from students who responded to the same prompt. Next they work in groups to score the essay exemplars using a literary analysis essay rubric.
They provide rationales for their scores and share their groups’ scores in whole–class discussion. Finally, each student scores his or her own essay before submitting it to the instructor. This is excellent preparation for students who will face the upcoming PARCC assessments or for any students needing practice with literary analysis. This lesson incorporates all strands of the Common Core English Language Arts (ELA) Standards.
The 16 page product file includes the following:
Explicit lesson plan with identified Common Core Standards, text for Walt Whitman’s poem “I Hear America Singing,” text for Langston Hughes’s poem “I, Too,” prompt, literary analysis essay rubric, five anchor essays, “Grade the Essays” handout, reflection handout, and key.
If desired, here is a lesson which can be used for close reading of the included poems:
American Voices Through Poetry
Here is another lesson which prepares students for literary analysis essay writing:
Literary Analysis Essay Writing