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5 Benefits of Blogging in the ELA Classroom

5 Benefits of Blogging in the ELA Classroom

By Stacy Zeiger

reading too much_whooos readingBlogging is quickly becoming its own genre of writing. Experts and amateurs alike blog about nearly everything, from recipes and fashion advice to political commentary and the latest innovations in technology.

What used to be a way to freely express thoughts has transformed into a carefully crafted format where people tell stories, conduct in-depth analyses, and interact with others. As blogging has become more refined, the benefits of blogging in the ELA classroom have also become apparent.

Not only does blogging encourage students to write, it also motivates them to read and analyze texts, thereby improving their reading comprehension skills. Here are a few specific ways to reap the benefits of blogging in your ELA classroom.

1. Blogging Encourages Storytelling

Read a series of recipe blogs and you’ll discover that most of them focus more on telling a story than actually sharing a recipe. Blogging is all about getting an audience’s attention and there’s no better way to get that attention than to tell a story.

Teachers can use blogging to help students tell their own stories through their blogs. Telling stories is a way to help students learn how to make critical connections that can improve their reading comprehension skills.

Teachers can encourage students to tell stories through prompts such as:

  • Have you ever experienced something that made you feel like one of the characters in the story? Share your experience and explain how it helps you relate to the character in the book.
  • Put yourself in the character’s shoes. If you were a part of the story, what would you do? What would you say? Write yourself into one of the story’s scenes.
  • How can you personally relate to this particular issue? Share a story to explain your connection to the cause.

More: How to Start a Classroom Blog

2. Blogging Encourages Research

Not all texts and writing activities lend themselves to storytelling, especially if they involve informational texts. However, most writing activities do require some amount of research.

This is especially true of blogging—blog posts regularly include links to related sources to promote traffic and to help others learn more about a given topic. Many blog posts serve as organized collections of links on a given topic, and require a lot of research and effort to find the reputable sources and organize them effectively.

Teachers can encourage students to write research-based blog posts through prompts such as:

  • What is the author’s main opinion? How does this opinion differ from others who have written on this topic? Share links that provide insight into the opinions of others.
  • What is the most important information you gained from this piece? Find three supporting websites and write a blog post to help others gain that information as well.
  • How does this piece connect to the work of another author? Another expert? Another story with a similar theme? Show us examples that you found to support this online.

3. Blogging Encourages Analysis

Blogging encourages people to share their opinions and knowledge with the world. Rather than having students simply answer questions about what they’re reading, teachers can encourage students to share their thoughts with the world.

The format of a blog versus a standard reading response question may seem less daunting to students than a traditional literary analysis paper, while motivating students to respond with more thoughtful analyses.

As students read through a text, they can blog about their thoughts, insights, and reactions, giving them the opportunity to interact with a text on a much deeper level.

Teachers can encourage analysis with prompts such as:

  • If I could ask the author any questions about this text, what would I ask?
  • Who would most benefit from this text? Why?
  • What is the purpose of this text? Does it accomplish its purpose?

More: Motivate every student in your school to write more blog-style content with Whooo’s Reading for Schools

4. Blogging Promotes Interaction

Blogging gives students a place to share their thoughts with an authentic audience who can also read and respond to them. The element of social interaction not only motivates students to blog so they can receive responses, it also forces them to think about what they’re saying.

When Students blog, they learn about the importance of using appropriate language, connecting with their audience, and understanding the impact of their words.

This new form of writing also challenges students to consider alternate viewpoints as other students and people around the world comment on their writing.

5. Blogging Promotes Regular Writing

The most obvious benefit of blogging is that it encourages students to write regularly, a skill that is also included in the Common Core and promoted through writing prompts. The Common Core Range of Writing standard instructs students to “write routinely over extended time frames and shorter time frames for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences” (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.10).

Classroom blogging gives students a place and a reason to write regulary. The teacher’s job is to provide students with a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences to focus on in their blogs. Use some of the prompts suggested here or come up with some fun, new ideas that are specific to your class.

WRforSchools
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  1. Pingback: 50 Creative Writing Prompts for Student Blogging

  2. Pingback: 7 Tools to Promote Reflective Thinking

  3. Pingback: Final Refection. – Samantha McPhee

  4. Pingback: How blogging helps with student reflection – E-Business Blog

  5. Pingback: Classroom Blogs | Mademoiselle's Classe de Français

  6. Pingback: What is Digital Literacy? – Literacy in the digital age

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