Essay peer review I

A-Level Paper 2 (AQA)

Storytelling seems to be everywhere these days, and for good reasons: it is the most effective way to connect emotionally and intellectually with an audience. Set up your MFL students for success with this intro to essay peer review, a storytelling/roleplaying resource that will teach them how to evaluate an essay.

Remember the good ol’ days, when evaluation used to be at the top of Bloom’s Taxonomy, before creativity displaced it? Are you looking for something even more creative? Check out our Art of Flash Fiction resource.

A story-telling introduction to essay peer review

Banner of essay peer review activity

ÍNSULA BARATARIA, which is all about MFL sharing and caring, brings you, with the blessing of Sancho Panza (our sapiente y comiente Gobernador), this intro to peer review activity, a flipped-learning, blended class, using Microsoft Sway and a storytelling/role-playing strategy: «Class of Spanish Students Become First Examiners in History. Intro to peer evaluation.»

In this activity, students will read a real, A-Level (AQA) sample response from 2018 about Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer’s Rimas y Leyendas. Secondly, they will try their hand at applying a simplified rubric to (AO3 & AO4) and attempt to evaluate it fairly, as an examiner would, assigning it a grade. Finally, they will find out the actual grade assigned by a real examiner and reconsider their evaluation.

What a monumental task for a student! Giving words their exact worth: a precise number. Even Bécquer knew that words were worth little more than nothing—unless they were written on paper bills, something which Juan Egea reminds us was possible, back in 1870, on a 400 escudos bill from the Banco de España:


Voy contra mi interés al confesarlo;

no obstante, amada mía,

pienso cual tú que una oda sólo es buena

de un billete del banco al dorso escrita.

No faltará algún necio que al oírlo

se haga de cruces y diga:

«Mujer al fin del siglo dievinueve

material y prosaica…» ¡Boberías!

¡Voces que hacen correr cuatro poetas

que en invierno se embozan con la lira!

¡Ladridos de los perros a la luna!

Tú sabes y yo sé que en esta vida,

con genio es muy contado el que la escribe

y con oro cualquiera hace poesía.

And thus Bécquer drew a very material line between inspiration, poetry, and money, which the Queen of Pop would surely concur.

Download the pdf on TES and import it to your own Microsoft Sway, in order to make the appropriate modifications for your class.

Learning Intentions

– Familiarize students with the essay question in the A-Level Paper 2 (AQA Examination Board) and the rubric

– Provide students with tools for future peer-review workshops in class.

– Boost students’ confidence level and improve outcomes.

Go ahead, do your thing, go teach!