Do you blog with your students? I can officially say we're bloggers now! Last week, I gave my students the task of identifying one scientist, inventor, or discovery to research and write and informational blog post on. I'll be honest, when I FIRST introduced the project you could hear crickets in the room. Even after a few failed attempts at pumping them up... I still heard crickets. I'm fairly certain the only thing they heard me say was "research".
As a class, we used the blogging platform KidBlog.org. I created an account (for free) and entered all of my students. The great part about KidBlog - you must have a password to read ALL of the posts. You can see the title of the blog, but in order to read anything a password must be entered.
The first question I had to tackle was, "what is blogging?". I relied on my good friends, Tim and Moby to do that for me. In their short BrainPOP, they hit the big ideas of a weblog being an online journal. They even go as far to describe different purposes for blogging. Perfect jumpstart for our project.
Click here to take you to the BrainPOP about blogging. The best news is that it's FREE!
After giving my students the rundown on blogging and KidBlog, I gave both of my science classes this task:
You will research the biography of one famous scientist and inventor. Determine the nature of their work, ethnic background, gender, and area of study. In a typed blog post, you will describe how their work contributed to science and technology.
In 5th grade, we have several GLEs regarding the impact of science, technology, and human activity. I was (and still am!) confident that this project was a successful one to cover those areas.
On our first day of class, I had my kids identify who they wanted to research. We started small and gathered resources. If you would like a copy of our research page, email me! [firstname.lastname@example.org]. I love sharing resources!
Each day of class, we spent about a week on this, I gave a mini lesson on different features of blogging. One day, I showed them how to edit and publish their blog. On Friday, our mini lesson was about inserting an image into the blog. For the most part, students really got the hang of things. While I was explaining our blog, I even had a student leave me comment that said, "okey dokey." Clearly, he had things figured out.
Do you blog with your students? What types of things do you blog about? What other social media outlets do you use? I would love to expand our blogging outside of science and biographies. Share your ideas!