As a culminating event for the toy production unit we had a toy shop day with students peer reviewing in “Amazon Review” style.
The day before I collected all the finished toys. Only about 60% of the kids are done with both the toy AND the package, but since I had invited staff (and the assistant superintendent) to the toy shop event, I couldn’t postpone. Many times I extend deadlines, but sometimes they just have to stand firm! I cleared all the art supplies off the center tables and set up the toys by art media.
All 6 periods of finished toys went on display. I am so happy I did this. Usually when I do a gallery walk/peer review activity it is just for the kids in the same class period. But this time the 6, 7 and 8th graders all got to see and review each-others’ work. I hope the 6th graders were inspired by seeing the work of the older kids.
Before we began, I talked about Amazon and the practice of leaving online reviews. We looked at some examples and talked about acceptable compliments and suggestions. I reminded students that we should not be mean or rude in our reviews. They each got 2 review slips. I instructed them to review at least one toy that was not made by a friend, but one could be a friend’s.
We stood up and I played some music while they walked the toy store looking at the toys. When the music stopped they had to sit in the nearest chair and review one of the toys on display in front of them. After about 5 minutes of quiet writing, we stood up and did it again. The goal of my musical chairs was to give them some structured time to look at the work and provide some randomness for the reviews. Students could then get an optional 3rd or 4th slip to review any toy in the room that they didn’t get to sit near.
The kids whose toys were on display are anxious to get their reviews! I scanned through them, looks like only 2 out of the 150 had something mean written that I pulled.
Our Friday’s are a shortened 30 minute period, so this activity was the perfect fit. Next year I would really like to have all the toys done AND have the elementary kids (who drew the designs) come to the event. But that will take some serious planning!