Go on, do your worst!

As we are getting close to the exam season and we start the final series of revision sessions I thought I’d share with you an awesome revision activity that I use at the beginning of this final session before the exams begin. It is a lovely activity to do with students but they do need to have gained an understanding of what they need to do in the written exams before they do it. It is all about asking the students to consider what they need to do in order to achieve a particular band within the assessment criteria.

Start by looking through the assessment criteria and looking at the type of language that it is using to describe the differences between the different bands. For the sake of this post, let’s say it uses the phrases Limited, Emerging, Satisfactory, Good and Outstanding to describe 5 bands of progress. Begin to consider what the language students would use when describing the action of an actor in an answer that is limited as opposed to Good or Outstanding.

Start with a simple concept like facial expressions. A limited answer would probably not mention anything to do with them, whereas a emerging might be referring to how the actor made different faces to express their sadness. A satisfactory response will refer to facial expressions. A good answer may start to add specifics such as how the actress playing the character in question curled her lip as she spoke and made direct eye contact with the other character. An outstanding answer will go one step further to the top marks available to include as much context and detail as possible, for example “the character in question curled her lip up as she snarled, made direct eye contact with the other character and made an aggressive and obstructive gesture.

A way of developing this activity is to ask the students to write sentences that build up in complexity, knowledge/understanding and content. This activity the students to see how they need to add into their sentences to get higher up the criteria.

The final way of developing is to focus on the whole paragraph. So the students start by writing the worst paragraph they can ever write. Then through a mixture of annotations and rewrites, the students improve their piece of writing band by band until they have the best piece they can write (which should also be at the highest band in the assessment criteria).

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photo credit: DiariVeu – laveupv.com 683735747 via photopin(license)

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