2017-2018 Lanier High Assessment Literacy Learning Teaching and Learning

Before and After Reading Macbeth: From Write-Around to a Post-It Note Gallery Walk Around Provocative Statements

In early January, my seniors participated in a write-around as a modified anticipation guide to introduce themes of Macbeth with a series of 10 provocative statements.  At the end of the write-around, students received a copy of all 10 statements and were asked to do some written reflections on those statements.  We finished Macbeth last Friday, so I wanted a way for students to revisit those students invidually and collaboratively.

I held onto to that work until this past Monday when I returned them to the students.  Each student received a set of 10 colored/lined sticky notes and was asked to do the following:

Students were required to include their names on their work and to provide textual evidence to support their responses.  Monday is our “skinny” day of our modified block, so we only meet about 48 minutes or so; we used the entire period to work on our responses, and I gave students an additional 20 minutes today in our normal block session of 90 minutes (this class meets Wednesdays and Fridays).

For our next steps, students received a gallery walk notetaking sheet, and we reviewed the following instructions:

Students then visited the 10 stations in whatever order they preferred and jotted down their notes.


Yes, I spend my own money on the sticky notes and colored paper, but they are a wonderful investment!

As students finished, they received a reflection handout to help them process their notes from the gallery walk:

We’ll talk through their ideas and reflections as a class on Friday before we take our unit assessment on the play.  The primary goal of this activity was to give students a chance to revisit the statements that kicked off our study of Macbeth and to think about how the reading of the play changed (or didn’t change!) our perceptions and reactions to the provocative statements that tie into the themes and big ideas of Macbeth.  I love being able to do “before” and “after” activities around a common text or activity with longer works of literature and nonfiction, and I’m excited to read and hear what the students have to say in our class discussion on Friday.

On an individual level, I read the sticky notes after class on Monday and used them as a formative assessment in progress so that I could help students today who were coming up short on specifics and/or textual evidence in their responses as they moved forward with finishing their work today.


  1. I am so grateful to have come across your blog! I am an English teacher in NYC, and this activity looks like a lot of fun for book club work as well. I’m going to work this in next week!


      1. The activity went beautifully! I did the write-around activity for my 8th grade dystopian book clubs and literary essay unit. Each individual student wrote his/her book’s theme on a post-it and then wrote two quotes he/she chose to support that theme from the text. Then, the book club partners went around and commented on how the quote supported the theme. It really helped them write their body paragraphs.


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