Margin Notes

TRY THIS TOMORROW: CRITIQUE OF THE WEEK 

Apr
13

If you have been looking for a mentor text for how to ask for and give feedback or for what discussing poetry can sound like, look no further than Rattle’s live video workshop, Critique of the Week. In each episode, a Rattle editor does a live critique of 1-2 poems drawn from the week’s submissions, thinking aloud and annotating while incorporating viewer feedback from the chat box into their reflection. In some cases, the submitting poet has requested feedback on a specific aspect of their writing. 

The archives of Critique of the Week can be accessed on Rattle’s YouTube Channel. 

Here are some ideas for using Critique of the Week into your writing workshop: 

  • Share clips as models for discussing the content, form, and craft of poetry. 
  • Incorporate excerpts into mini-lessons on such topics as: making our thinking visible to others, expanding on thinking with evidence from a text, annotations, and “what we talk about when we talk about poetry.” 
  • Invite students to reflect on whether they agree or disagree with the critique and why. This would be a terrific way to reinforce the concept that there is no single “correct” interpretation of a text. 
  • Ask students to respond to the questions: How can these ideas enhance my understanding of poetry/writing poetry/writing in general? How do these ideas make me a better reader? How do they make me a better writer? 
  • Name and discuss some of the thinking moves you notice the host using in their critique. 

If you’ve used Critique of the Week in your classroom, we’d love to hear about it in the comments! 

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