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.