Lesson 7. Evaluating Essays

This is one part of the reflection on the lesson “Working with TA Text: Jonathan Seagull


Feb 06
Aim: to make students see the difference between the qualitative and non-qualitative texts (how the message is passed to the reader).

  • students’ essays describing Jonathan’s life as a fight against external circumstances;
  • Episode “Carpe diem” (with subtitles) from the movie “Dead Poets Society” - 


  1. Students were asked to share their essays written from Jonathan’s point of view. I asked each student to read each text and identify those things which they think make the text successful. They were asked to put the successful features on the board and write them under the name of the student to whom the essay belonged.
  2. As a result we came with a list of things which make the text successful and voted for the best text. Students agreed one text was the best and they also agreed on the text which was the second one in terms of the quality. 
  3. Then I showed the episode “Carpe Diem” from the movie “Dead Poets’ Society” and asked what is the message the author is trying to pass, how is he doing it, is it successful or not. What makes passing this message successful? After watching the episode students were very silent so I assume they were affected by it. I told students that this is a qualitative example of how a message can be passed and they can compare it to the texts they had just read to see the difference.

I collected all students’ works (Description 1, Description 2, and Essay). Unfortunately, there were only 3 students who had produced all the 3 texts. On the last lesson I showed students three works of one student (as an example) saying that by putting the texts next to each other, they will see how the quality of what was communicated improved from one text to the next one. And this is the result which is expected from them when we work on the text - produce more and more qualitative results.

Note: I will upload examples of student’s works once they upload them on their e-portfolios.


Go to "Working with TA Text (Jonathan Seagull): Conclusions"


# Irina Buchinska 2013-03-03 16:53
Renata, could you refer to the TTF stages reflecting on your work with this task?
Do you, I mean the students, have any algorithm/model for text writing or whichever?
# Renata Jonina 2013-03-04 17:37
It's a good question re TTF steps, I am never sure where one stars and the next one begins:)
The idea was that challenge will appear when they see that their texts do not pass the message effectively. Then, the construction of the solution was skipped, I just showed an example and we discussed a little bit what makes the episode strong in passing the message.

We were once working on the features of a good text so they have it written somewhere and name me some important aspects. The question is that I am not sure what to do it with it further...
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