Praise, Question, Suggest Critique Protocol
This protocol can be used to offer critique and feedback for revision of work. It is appropriate to use during a draft phase, so that students have the opportunity to revise based on the feedback they receive. This process will help students see what is working, and then consider questions and suggestions that will lead to revision and improvement. It is important that students understand that the focus should be on offering feedback that is beneficial to the author/creator. Explicit modeling by the teacher is necessary for this protocol to be used successfully.
Needs and Materials
Provide product descriptors and rubrics as clear guidelines of the expectations and criteria. If the work is written, copies for the critique group are helpful.
- As a whole group, create a list of possible questions based on select criteria for the work. For example:Is there a strong title or lead?
- Is the information clear and accurate?
- Are interesting details included?
- Does the writer use powerful, descriptive language?
- Are the pictures and graphics used effectively?
- Model the process of looking at a piece of work together with the whole group and generating specific praise, questions, and suggestions linked to the criteria before moving into smaller, independent feedback groups.
- Organize students into small groups of 2-5. Provide them with a time frame, and have them identify a time keeper/facilitator, who will ensure that each person has equal time and help the group follow the protocol.
- The first student presents/reads the draft of her piece. She may ask peers to focus on a particular criterion or revision question that she is struggling with from the list.
- Feedback is best written on post-it notes and given to the creator. Peers first focus on what is praiseworthy or working well. Praise needs to be specific. Simply saying “This is good” doesn’t help the writer. Comments such as “I notice that you used descriptive picture captions,” or “You have a catchy title that makes me want to read your piece” are much more useful.
- Next, ask questions and offer helpful suggestions. “This part is unclear. I wonder if it would be better to change the order of the steps?” or “I can’t tell the setting. Maybe you could add some details that would show the reader where it is taking place?” or “I wonder if adding a graph to highlight your data would be effective?”
- Feedback should relate to the revision questions identified by the group or student presenter.
- After each member of the group has offered feedback, the presenter discusses which suggestions he wants to try and thanks the group.
- Others then present their work in turn and cycle through the feedback process.
Whole group discussion about the kinds of feedback that are beneficial as well as the kinds of comments that are too general or negative to be helpful is important. Again, it is critical for the teacher to have modeled and scaffolded students in the process for a successful peer critique session.
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