ENGL 3360 (Summer I 2010)Lesson Plan Critique
Your task is to find a lesson plan on someaspect of teaching writing that you might use in the contextof a workshop. It can be any length—a focus lesson to anentire unit—as long as it teaches writing as one of itscentral objectives. Then write a 3-page (750 words)evaluation of that plan—discuss its strengths andweaknesses according to the criteria you have set up. Youmay even talk about how you would modify the lesson. Themain goal of any evaluation essay is to prove that yourassessment is valid.
Writing a critique:
Writing an evaluation or critique is probably nothingcompletely new to you, even if you’ve never done it for a lesson plan before. Thebasic idea behind any evaluation is the same: establish a set of criteria thatdemonstrates what a high quality example would be like, and then determine howyour particular example fits those qualities.In the case of evaluating a lesson plan, identify what makes a good lesson plan ingeneral and set it up for the reader. Don’t assume that you and the reader will usethe same criteria—show what you are basing your evaluation on. Then analyze thelesson plan you chose according to what you have set up. What qualities does ithave? What qualities are lacking? How could it be improved? What’s the final judgment—is this a lesson plan you can use in some way (or not)? Be sure to tellAND show—don’t just say the lesson plan is poorly timed (for example). Showexactly what is poorly timed and explain why it is a problem.You do not have to use the same evaluative criteria that we have discussed in class.Part of your job as writer is to explain what you think a good lesson plan forteaching writing is, based on what you’ve learned about good instructional practicefor writing in the course.
The assignment requires you to use three sources in addition to thelesson plan itself, one of which must be from outside course materials (you mayuse the textbooks or handouts for the other two, although all of them can be fromoutside the course if you wish). Here are some suggestions for finding and/or usingthis outside source:
Look up a journal article (using ERIC) on the specific subject of the lessonplan. For instance, if your lesson plan is on writing poetry, look up articles onhow to teach writing poetry. Use something from one of these articles to helpestablish criteria—you aren’t just judging a general lesson plan, but judgingwhether or not it effectively teaches the concept.
Consult sources (books, articles) on aspects of formal lesson plans. Forinstance, almost all lesson plans have objectives. Find out through yourresearch how one is supposed to write objectives. Use this as one of thequalities you evaluate.
You do not have to agree with your sources. You can state what one sourcesays about lesson planning or the subject, and then discuss why you don’tthink it is right. For example, if you have a lesson plan that you really like,