The major cumulative assessment for this unit was the students’ Poetry Anthology, combined with a poetry slam and open mic to showcase the students’ work. I first introduced the assignment by explaining the different phases of the project—which was an attempt to break down the writing process that I wanted us to follow as a class.
After this, and after much drafting and revision in class, I gave the students the following rubric, as well as a sample page that I created.
Looking back on the way I structured this assignment, I realized that while I made my expectations clear, I did not do enough scaffolding to help students meet my expectations. Along with the rubric and sample page, I should have included more detailed instructions or a more detailed checklist to let the students know exactly what they needed to have done by when in order to complete all of the aspects of the assignment. As we were working towards our final project, I found that students did not always have their drafts completed when they needed to be in order to do in class revisions, and I realized that this was because I did not clearly state when they needed to have each step of the process done. I also noticed that when I was grading the final products, I found that many students had not included figurative language in their poem, despite the fact that this was one of the major components that they needed to include in their poem. Looking back at the rubric, this could have been emphasized much more to help the students better understand exactly what I was looking for.
My experience with this anthology project has greatly informed how I structured the final assignment for my next unit on Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.