Building Excellence in Student Work

After our trip to the Butterfly Park we looked at our pictures of butterflies, which we had drawn immediately after our close encounters with them.We used our experience of butterflies and our imaginations and ideas of butterflies to create these images, which we all agreed were beautiful and colourful . Here are our drawings, using coloured pencils.


To take our learning further Ms. Sheila showed us a video called Austins Butterfly which is about Building Excellence in Student Work. We watched the video and noticed how Austin had drawn the butterfly several times after listening to the critique done by his peers. The students in the video were a few years older than us but we were up for the challenge of doing a critique and also making success criteria for drawing a butterfly.


First we looked at Matoom and Plawhan’s drawings and made a checklist of the features they had included. Once we had created our checklist we had success criteria for us all to use as we drew another butterfly. We aimed at drawing with a scientific approach which would make the butterfly more like a real butterfly. We used our resources from the library, and looked closely at photographs and diagrams of butterflies. These are our scientific drawings, using lead pencils.



To check we had covered our success criteria, we swapped clipboards, so that we could assess each other’s work. Ms. Sheila called out the criteria and we stood up if the picture included each item on the criteria. We stayed seated if it did not include the item. Our teachers checked to see if we had made an accurate assessment and whether we were being fair or a bit harsh in our judgments.



The next step was to do a full critique on a picture, so Ms. Sheila asked for a volunteer. Louvre was a risk-taker and took up the challenge. He sat close to Ms. Sheila as students raised their hands and gave constructive criticism on his drawing. The students expressed their admiration for his picture first, saying it was very beautiful and how much they liked it, then they were encouraged to tell him ways he could improve on his drawing. Ms. Sheila wrote their comments on post it notes which Louvre and his friends stuck around his picture. Louvre agreed that he would use the comments the next time he draws a butterfly, but we will have to wait till he returns from his skiing trip to Japan!

Before Louvre left, he inquired into some other ways of making a butterfly image, using paper and paint to make folding pictures, which explored symmetry and painting a butterfly sculpture, which his friend Nathan brought to school.

Here are some of our folded paintings and the butterfly sculpture.




Plawhan and Rayshaun took their learning further when they experimented with using the spoon to draw their images and then folded them.



Check out their responses


This was a great exercise in peer assessment,as the children learnt to create a criteria,put it into practice,do a critique and receive constructive criticism for their own work.They also learnt to use different methods to create an image of a butterfly.





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