Sunday, 11 March 2012

PETER paragraphs replace poor performing PEE


Yes, I enjoyed writing the title.

Never having been entirely happy with students PEEing down the page, (not because it's slightly naughty - that's great) I've recently changed the way I've been teaching essay writing for years.

The problem with PEE (Point Evidence Explanation) is that students don't get the 'Explanation' part. The well-trained amongst them will dutifully respond with, "It means saying how or why", some even capable of describing it as analysis (PEA). But that doesn't mean they can show the skill they need to in an essay. After all, "The writer uses a simile", or, " The writer wanted to catch your attention", are possible reasons 'why' and 'how' something was used.

So, after reading the AQA English examiner feedback from 2011 criticising the use of PEE, I decided to come up with an alternative. PETER paragraphs were born (Point Evidence Term Explore the Effects and Relate. It was only a couple of weeks later, I realised this new approach fitted in really well with teaching SOLO taxonomy too.




A problem I had reading SOLO Taxonomy: A Guide for Schools by Pam Hook and Julie Mills (2011) was it is focused on thinking and has very little on converting that thinking into writing. Yes, it has useful vocabulary to use to show the different levels of thinking, but that doesn't help students structure their responses and paragraphs. The more ambitious amongst my students also want to jump straight to Extended Abstract thinking, failing to realise if you can't link it to the Relational stage, it remains just abstract, not Extended Abstract.

PETER is helping my students in the following ways:
Point and Evidence are fairly simple to teach, but students tend to either avoid using technical terms in their point, so now T is in there as a reminder. With my more able, I have change Point to Pattern to encourage them to identify style or genre features and improve the quality of their analysis.

Explore the Effects is encouraging students to develop their analysis, rather than simply rewording their point and evidence. It clearly signposts them to write about audience and purpose. It is also deliberately plural to invite different interpretations. This starts students making Relational points.

Relate has an obvious link to the SOLO Relational stage too, but also can be understood as: relate to the question, make a comparison, or simply connect to the previous paragraph. At a higher level, this is also where you can show Extended Abstract learning as students can relate it to their own experiences, wider contexts and concepts.


Early days yet, but it does seem to be helping my very able Y10 group and A level classes. I have yet to experiment with my other classes, but C/D borderline Y11 are redoing their Macbeth CA in 2 weeks, so I'll share the results of using it with them then.

11 comments:

  1. Sounds great. I have been trying different versions of PEE because I'm so frustrated with it. I've given students a checklist of what to include in the Explanation but this does it all in one acronym really. Will try it this week. Doing some SOLO work to extend responses so it seems perfect really!
    Thanks!

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    2. use URL link:http://www.sholingtc.org.uk/documents/Litzone/How%20to%20write%20a%20PETER%20paragraph1444899468.pdf
      for better grades.you can go from a C to an A*

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    3. Point You make a clear and suitable
      point.
      It refers to the question.
      You make a clear and interesting
      point.
      It refers to the question.
      You make clear and interesting points,
      which link to your other paragraphs.
      You have a clear train of thought running
      through your whole answer.
      You make clear and interesting points, which
      link to your other paragraphs.
      You have a clear train of thought running
      through your whole answer.
      Evidence You chose appropriate
      evidence.
      You embed your evidence.
      You chose suitable evidence.
      Your evidence is embedded.
      Your evidence is not long and wordy.
      You chose the most appropriate evidence.
      Your evidence picks up on subtle meanings.
      You chose the best bits.
      You may use multiple pieces of evidence
      throughout a paragraph.
      You chose the most appropriate evidence.
      Your evidence picks up on subtle meanings.
      You chose the best bits.
      You may use multiple pieces of evidence
      throughout a paragraph.
      Technique You identify language
      features.
      You use subject terminology.
      You explore at least one
      effect of the technique.
      You identify multiple language
      features.
      You understand how and why these
      techniques are used.
      You explore multiple effects.
      You identify subtle uses of language
      features.
      You pick up on multiple and subtle effects
      that these language features create.
      You comment on how these features effect
      the overall reading of the quotation.
      You identify subtle uses of language features.
      You pick up on multiple and subtle effects that
      these language features create.
      You comment on how these features effect the
      overall reading of the quotation.
      Explain You look at the quotation as a
      whole.
      You suggest how it affects the
      reading of the text around it.
      You use single word analysis.
      You explore effect on the
      reader.
      Your explanation is becoming more
      precise.
      You use adverbs to explain what the
      quotation suggests.
      You look for multiple meanings.
      You use single word analysis.
      You explore more than one effect on
      the reader. You use connectives to
      enhance your explanation.
      Your explanation is becoming more precise.
      You use adverbs to explain what the
      quotation suggests.
      You use single word analysis.
      You explore more than one effect on the
      reader.
      You look at various interpretations of the
      text.
      Your explanation is becoming more precise.
      You use adverbs to explain what the quotation
      suggests.
      You use single word analysis.
      You explore more than one effect on the
      reader.
      You look at various interpretations of the text.
      Reflect You refer back to the
      question.
      You refer back to the question.
      You comment on the whole text.
      You refer back to the question.
      You comment on the text as a whole.
      You refer to context.
      You comment on the writer’s intention.
      You pick up on key themes.
      You refer back to the question.
      You comment on the text as a whole.
      You refer to context.
      You suggest how readers when it was written
      and who are reading it now may relate to it
      differently.
      You comment on how different readers may
      have had different reactions.
      You comment on the writer’s intention.
      You link it to key themes.

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  2. I am a student who has mastered P.E.T.E.R paragraphs , since my teacher is magnificent.

    London Academy Amin Ali 7c

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  3. help need to master peter before test

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  4. P -answer the question
    E - quote to prove your point
    T - identify a technique I your quotation
    E - explore the effects (you are a reader, how do you respond to the text? )
    R - relate to when the text was written, or other parts of the text

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  5. ch You chosethe
    overall reading of tYou use subject terminology.
    You explore at least one
    effect of the technique.
    You identify multiple language
    features.
    You understand how and why these
    techniques are used.
    You explore multiple effects.
    You identify subtle uses of language
    features.
    You pick up on multiple and subtle effects
    that these language features create.
    You comment on how these features effect
    the overall reading of the quotation.
    You identify subtle uses of language features.
    You pick up on multiple and subtle effects that
    these language features create.
    You comment on how these features effect the
    overall reading of the quotation.
    Explain You look at the quotation as a
    whole.
    You suggest how it affects the
    reading of the text around it.
    You use single word analysis.
    You explore effect on the

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