How to Use Blogs: Grades 68
Blogs are an authentic tool for expressing opinions. In this lesson, students learn what blogs are, how to write blog entries, and how to express their opinions effectively.
- Understand how to write blogs
- Express their opinions in blog entries
- React to other students' blog entries
- Blog Rules (PDF)
- Scholastic News Online Blogs
- Blogs in Plain English video
- My Thoughts Published Rubric (PDF)
- Scholastic Kid Reporters Blog
SET UP AND PREPARE
- Print the Blogging Rules (PDF) and Blog Rubric (PDF).
- Review Scholastic News Blogs and choose a few examples to show to the class. Check out Election 2008, Sticky Situations, Reviews by You, or the Daily News Blogs for examples.
- Review the Blogs in Plain English video.
- Ask students if they have heard of a blog. Explain what a blog is. Or show the Blogs in Plain English video.
- A blog is a Web site that allows groups or individuals to contribute their ideas, comments, or opinions in a journal format. Blog entries are often short and appear in reverse chronological order.
- A blog entry can be created any time and any place from any Internet enabled computer.
- Have the students read the Kid Reporters Blog on Scholastic News Online.
- Discuss one of the articles and talk about how they could respond to the author through the blog comment feature. Make sure that the students understand that their comment should contribute to the value of the article.
- Have the students choose one of the articles and post a comment.
SUPPORTING ALL LEARNERS
- Pair struggling writers with more-fluent writers
- Assign a volunteer to help a struggling writer.
- Have the blogs or articles read to students who have difficulty reading.
- Create additional blog topics on your class Web site or free Internet blog site such as 21 Classes.
- Topics might include poetry, recipes, goals for the year, "When I grow up," persuasive writing, short stories.
- Have students evaluate Scholastic News Online blog topics. Did the topics stimulate discussion? How could they be made better?
- Either as a class or as individuals, have students submit their comments and suggestions to the Tell Us What You Think message board. That message board is a direct link to Scholastic News Online Editors, who will answer questions and consider all comments.
- Assess the students' blog entries with the My Thoughts Published Rubric.
EVALUATING THE LESSON
- How well did the students understand the power of having their thoughts published on a blog?
- How interested were the students in the discussion topics?
- Was the Blogs in Plain English video effective in explaining what a blog is?
- What technical problems arose?
- Don't forget to have your students let the Scholastic News Online Editors know their opinions by using the Tell Us What You Think message board.