Austin's Butterfly: Building Excellence in Student Work - Models, Critique, and Descriptive Feedback

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Austin's Butterfly

Format(s): Video

Topic(s): Analyze Models

Audience: Educators

In this six-minute video, Models of Excellence curator Ron Berger shares a student project with elementary school students to illuminate the power of critique and multiple drafts. Austin was a first-grade student in Boise, Idaho who created a scientific drawing of a butterfly for a note card that would be sold to raise funds for butterfly habitats. Ron shows students six drafts of this drawing, and elicits their kind, specific and helpful critique to consider how each draft could improve. The progress of the drawing from a primitive first draft to an impressive final draft is a powerful message for educators: we often settle for low-quality work because we underestimate the capacity of students to create great work. With time, clarity, critique and support, students are capable of much more than we imagine.

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