Learning to give and receive feedback is an important part of growing as a writer. Anyone can learn to give constructive feedback!
Here are some tips to get started:
There are many different types of feedback. Students may comment on grammar, punctuation or spelling, or they may offer big picture ideas about the characters or story.
It’s difficult to receive feedback when it comes in a form you’re not expecting (especially if it’s an area you haven’t worked on yet). Make sure both the writer and the reviewer know what kind of feedback is expected.
Help your students frame their feedback with sentence starters. Here are some suggestions to draw from:
Too often, when we’re sharing our ideas and suggestions, we skip directly to what we don’t like. This activity helps students offer well rounded feedback by saying two things they liked (stars) followed by one thing they didn’t like (wish).
Constructive feedback is descriptive feedback. If your students liked something, they should try to explain why. If something didn’t work for them, saying why may help the author fix the problem more readily.
If your students struggle with providing only the requested type of feedback, try putting them in groups, and assign each person a different job. For example, one reviewer might focus on punctuation, while others focus on story or spelling.
Novice reviewers can practice these ideas on books they read in class or at home. As writers and readers gain experience, encourage students to help each other.
The ability to give and receive constructive feedback is a skill that will serve young writers throughout their lives.