Reading and writing texts online are basic skills that students need to be literate citizens in today’s world. Teaching with blogs provides the opportunity to engage students in both of these literacy activities, and the strategy has the additional benefit of enabling students to publish their writing easily and to share their writing with an authentic audience.
When students write entries and comment on the entries of their peers, blogs become an integral part of a lively literacy community. Students can post on such topics as journal/diary entries, reflections on their writing process, details on their research projects, commentary on recent events or readings, and drafts for other writing they are doing.
Once a student posts an entry, others in the class can respond, provide supportive feedback, and offer additional suggestions or perspectives. By writing and commenting on blogs, students write for real readers (not just for their teachers). As a result, students focus on clear communication and get immediate feedback on whether they communicate effectively.
Check out these additional resources for teaching with blogs:
- Weekly Writer’s Blogs: Building a Reflective Community of Support
Students explore the conventions of blog writing while using it to self-reflect on their writing and communicate with classmates about one another’s reflections.
- Creating Character Blogs
Students view examples of blogs, learn the basic elements of blog creation, and then create a blog from the perspective of a fictional character.
- Using Microblogging and Social Networking to Explore Characterization and Style
Students use social networking sites to trace the development of characters by assuming the persona of a character on a class site and sending a set number of tweets, or status updates.
- What Would Ben, Tom, and George Think? Blogging about the American Revolution
After researching famous people of the American Revolution, students take on the identities of these Patriots and Loyalists. Students then participate in a blog, writing responses about events leading up to and during the American Revolutionary War.
- Blog about Courage Using Photos
Engage teens in this activity in which they use photographs to examine and write about courage on a blog.
- The Blog of Anne Frank?: Taking on Social Roles through Online Writing
Anne Frank shared her experiences through a private diary that became public as a book. In this lesson, students will consider how writing creates social identities as they blog about a political issue.
- Create a Career Blog
This activity invites children and teens to explore various careers and then write about what they might want to be when they grow up in a blog.
- Blogtopia: Blogging about Your Own Utopia
Students work together to create their own utopias, using blogs as the primary source of publication.
- Blogging in the Primary Grades? Yes, Indeed!
Give students an authentic reason to read and write by researching blogs written by their peers around the world and then writing their own.
How else do you use blogs with students?