Teaching to Blog and Comment (Instructional Strategy)

Our 5th grade teachers, Michelle and Margie, use a class blog to build community and further develop several skill areas for their students. To support the students' introduction to blogging, they have a couple lessons in their technology class.  

The first lesson works to answer the question of "why blog?". The students view videos defining weblog as well as read several student and teacher/class blogs. This lays the groundwork for a discussion of how they can participate in their class blog as authors and commenters.  

Here are some of the sites I use in the lesson via our Web Resources site:

  • Examples of Student Blogs
  • Award Winning Student BloggersTeacher and Student Blogs
  • Example of Teacher Blogs (These are just starting links that can take you to student blogs which are usually listed on the right side of the page. Check them out.)
  • More Teacher Blogs (Look on the right side of the page.)
  • Edublogs (this is the service Ms. Cook uses. Go to the Featured Blogs down the right side of  the page to see how people are using blogs.)

A second lesson puts the students in the role of blog reader and commenter. They go to a Lifehacker post listing specific protocols to follow in making constructive comments. After reviewing the post and having a class discussion on the commenting protocols, the students are given a blog to read. They choose one post to make comments on. As the lesson is to give them practice as commenters, the students use Wallwisher to post their comments. Once everyone has made their comment, we have a class discussion analyzing the posts as to how well they followed the criteria specified in the Lifehacker post. The discussion continues when they return to class with Michelle and Margie. The students further discuss how they will make their first comments to the class blog.  

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