Tag Archives: language arts

8 Benefits for Students When They Comment on Blogs

The benefits to blogging go beyond writing the posts. There are numerous learning opportunities created by reading and commenting upon blog posts.

This activity allows students to:

  1. Improve reading skills. To comment upon a blog, it must first be read. Blogs expose students to a wide variety of writing styles, purposes, and points of view. Reading the posts require students to apply comprehension strategies to extend their understanding of the text which improves their literacy skills.

  2. Develop responsibility. Comments posted on blog entries are public, which means anyone can read them. Students learn the importance of assuming ownership over the comments they post, as they are a direct reflection upon themselves.

  3. Students become bloggers.

  4. Practice social conventions. Commenting is a new type of social skill. It requires students to phrase their insights, opinions, and feedback thoughtfully. A comment should be constructive, encouraging further improvement. Comments should not be hurtful or defamatory.

  5. Improve writing skills. A comment is typically only one or two sentences. This brevity creates a unique challenge, as a meaningful statement must be written concisely in only a few words.

  6. Foster critical thinking. To respond to a blog article, the reader must analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information in a blog to determine if they agree or disagree with the writer, or if they have any new insights to offer. This process fosters critical thinking.

  7. Actively engage in discussions. Commenting invites a public discussion. When a student posts a comment it becomes an invitation to discuss the ideas presented in the blog with the author and fellow readers.

  8. blogging resources

  9. Collaborate with others. Blogging is not a solitary experience. It involves an active exchange with others. Through reading and commenting upon entries, students are able to share resources, learn new information, gain feedback, and acquire insight.

  10. Mentor peers. Commenting offers students the opportunity to offer advice, encouragement, or pose questions to peers. Being a mentor is a great way to boost confidence, strengthen communication skills, and develop a sense of accomplishment.

comment blog callout

Commenting on blogs has educational value.
Discover the benefits!

12 Benefits for Students When They Become Bloggers

Blogging is a unique literacy activity that has many benefits. The process of writing posts allows student bloggers to:

  1. Become reflective learners. When students use a blog to share their ideas or reflect upon their work, it allows them to develop a deeper understanding of their strengths and weaknesses, values and beliefs, and identifies areas for improvement.

  2. Improve writing skills. Blog writing allows students to enhance their skills as they explore a range of writing styles to suit the purpose of the article.

  3. Reach a genuine audience. Blogging is public. Articles can be read by not only the teacher, but also peers, parents, classes, and people from around the world. This produces an authentic learning experience.

  4. Acknowledge their value. Blogging empowers students to recognize that their experiences have value because they can use them to write articles that inform, instruct, or inspire others.

  5. Blogging transforms students into reflective learners, who are motivated to write about their experiences because they have a genuine audience.

  6. Build self-esteem. Comments from readers allows students to receive positive feedback that improves their self-image.

  7. Highlight individuality. Blogging enables students to share their unique viewpoint, ideas, and interests with others.

  8. Contribute equally. Every learner has a voice when blogging. In a classroom setting, it is difficult to give every student time to share his or her ideas. However, writing blogs and commenting upon entries, grants everyone an equal opportunity to participate.

  9. Actively engage in learning. Blogging transforms students from being consumers of information to producers of information. Instead of reading facts and watching videos posted by others, they are the ones developing unique content for others to consume.

  10. Develop higher-level thinking. The process of blogging requires students to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information. Creative and critical thinking skills are used to write editorials, offer solutions to common problems, debate ideas, justify a position, or recommend a product.

  11. Students become bloggers.

  12. Collaborate with others. The writing process can include a collaborative component. For example, peers can review work and post comments that lead to further revisions or a new post. As well, a class or school blog can be created through joint writing, whereby multiple students cooperate to produce a body of work.

  13. Feel motivated to become writers. Reluctant writers are motivated to blog because there is a genuine audience and the entries are short, which makes the process and time associated with writing less daunting.

  14. Find their inner voice. Blogging gives students the forum to express ideas that may otherwise have remained silent. The writing process becomes a powerful tool to self discovery as students delve deeper into understanding their experiences and ideas.

blogging resources

10 More Blogging Activities for Elementary Students

Are you looking for even more blogging activities? Here are a few more ideas:

1. Art Reflection

Take a digital photo or scan a piece of artwork. Post the artwork to the blog. Have students reflect upon the creative process in a short paragraph. For example, they can identify the materials, outline the techniques used to create the art piece, describe how they feel about the artwork, explain what made them chose the subject matter, list problem areas, or propose one thing they might do differently in the future.

2. Art Critic

Post a picture of a famous painting. Have students comment upon the elements and principles of design, subject matter, or feelings evoked.

3. Transform a Written Report into a Blog Series

Replace a traditional report with a series of blog entries. Divide a topic into parts and then have each part equal a blog entry. Each entry should include a picture, video, facts, or links to topic related sites. For example, a blog series about an endangered specie could be divided into four entries. The first entry could include a picture with text that describes the appearance. The second entry could include a video that includes an explanation of the habitat. The third entry could include a list of the three most interesting facts about the animal, and the final entry could have links to sites related to the topic.

4. Science Fair Diary

Most science fair projects are done primarily at home. This can make it difficult for teachers to track progress. Have students write entries documenting their progress. Each entry is a few sentences that describe activities such as research, materials, findings, or report design. This diary allows teachers to offer helpful advice, pose thought-provoking questions, or offer encouragement throughout the project. It also helps students to maintain a regular workflow, be accountable for progress over the time period, and learn good time management skills.

blogging resources

5. Joint Serial Writing

Have your students engage in a joint short story writing activity. Divide your class into groups. Give each group a tag name. They must use this tag when they write each post. This will keep the story parts together. Now, assign a group member to write the beginning of the story. It must be between 3-6 sentences. The title should read Part 1 Story Name. The next group member reads the post, and then writes a new post that continues on the story. The title of that post is Part 2 Story Name. Each group member takes a turn, until the final writer must end the story. To read the story, readers must click on the tag name. Now all the story parts are displayed. Since they are in reverse chronological order, the reader needs to scroll to the bottom of the screen to read the first post. This idea works great if you want to blog but only have access to a few computers at the back of the classroom.

Use these creative ideas to have your students enjoy blogging.

6. Network with the Community

Extend the walls of the classroom. Invite community members to become guest commenters. They can post comments onto blogs about a unit of study. For example, if studying flight it would be great to have a local pilot or aviation group become guest commenters for a short time.

7. e-Pal

Connect with students from another country. Students can communicate with one another by writing posts and commenting. Teachers can specify the purpose of each exchange or allow students to select the content.

8. Digital Career Day

Have students interview their parents, family member, or other significant adult to learn about their career. Responses are recorded in a blog post. Fellow classmates then read about each other’s posts to learn about job opportunities. Further questions are posed using comments. Each interviewee is assigned a guest account so that they can read their post and respond to student questions.

9. Cooperative Bookmark Collection

Encourage students to share resources with one another. Write a teacher blog that includes a collection of Internet favorites. Now challenge students to find even more great sites. Students use the comment feature to post links to great resources.

10. Research Relay

Create a learning community, in which all participating students exchange ideas. In a research relay, each student is assigned a particular section of a topic. They research that section and then write a post to his or her blog. Now the information can be passed onto everyone. This gives students a way to gather information from one another for an assignment or project.

Students become bloggers.

10 Blogging Activities for Elementary Students

There are many ways that teachers can integrate blogs into curriculum. Here are a few ideas to get you started!

1. Blogger

Empower students! Most bloggers are experts in a particular area. They write articles based on their experience. Encourage your students to recognize that their experience has value. Have them write a series of articles about a topic in which they are knowledgeable such as a hobby or area of interest. For example, skateboarding, hockey, piano, video games, dirt bikes, pets, or fashion. Each week or month students write a new blog entry using a different writing style: how-to, opinion, biography, product review, pro/con comparison, top 10 list, personal story, inspiration/quote, useful links, timeline, or interview. By the end of the term or school year, students will not only have a series of articles that inform, instruct, and inspire others, but also a body of work that highlights their unique value.

2. Reading Response

To track independent reading many teachers have students complete a reading response. This activity often has a standard form such as title, author, pages, summary, and response. The response may require students share their thoughts, feelings, and reactions to the story. It may also require students to make a personal connection or prediction. Make this task digital! Have students write a blog entry for each reading response (or at least some of them). These entries can be set to private so that only the teacher is aware of the content of each post. The benefit to blogging is that now teachers can engage in an online discussion about the book. They can comment to ask questions to provoke deeper learning, offer a fresh insight to promote new ideas, or establish a connection with students by sharing their own experience. The goal is to offer comments that encourage a further response.

3. Digital Reading Log

Don’t just create a reading log, instead create a reading community. Teachers are always looking for creative ways to track the books students read throughout the year. As part of the reading program, have students write a book review on their blog. By using tags such as genre or rating, it is easy for fellow students to peruse the articles for recommended reading. As well, if a student reads the SAME book, they can add their own comment about the review.

blogging resources

4. Collaborative Novel Study Activities

Transform some of your class novel study activities into blog entries that encourage collaboration. To get started, gather a list of standard discussion questions or written assignments associated with the novel. Now divide your class into small groups. Assign one member the role of blogger and the remaining students as commenters. The blogger selects an item from the list and writes a short blog post. Commenters read the post and then offer their comments. Here are some ideas:

  • have the blogger pose a question they would want to ask a character in the story, and then have the remaining members comment upon what they think the character might respond to the question
  • have the blogger post a picture of the latest action in the story with the text, what will happen next and then have the remaining members post comments outlining their predictions
  • have the blogger write a short article about how they think the book will end, and have the remaining group members comment upon whether they agree or disagree

Collaborative novel study activities are an excellent way to engage all students in a conversation about the novel.

5. Writing Buddy

Pair an older student with a younger student to foster writing skills. The older student reads the younger student’s work and then offers positive feedback. This encouragement is a great way to boost confidence and enjoyment in the writing process.

6. Peer Editing

Revision is an important part of the writing process. Students can post their draft and receive constructive feedback from peers to improve work. Feedback can take the form of compliments, suggestions, and corrections. It is a good ideas to provide sentence starters to help your students learn to phrase comments appropriately.

7. School or Class Newspaper

A blog can act as a school or class newspaper written for fellow students. Articles can be about a range of activities including field trips, fundraising events, concerts, sports, assemblies, project displays, and more! The blog can be part of an extracurricular club or it can be undertaken as a class initiative. If writing a class newspaper, the teacher can assign student bloggers each week to post articles allowing everyone the opportunity to contribute throughout the school year. This is also an excellent way to manage blogging if access to computers is limited to only a few at the back of the classroom.

8. Current Events

A blog can transform teaching about current events. Instead of clipping an article of interest from the newspaper, then sharing it with classmates by standing at the front of the classroom, relaying the article details, students can post the news story or video report to their blog. Fellow classmates can then write comments that state their opinion about the issue. It is a great way to engage everyone in an online discussion, leaving no “voice” unheard.

9. Brainteasers

Post a weekly or monthly brainteaser that encourages problem solving. Have students post their answer using the commenting system. Teachers can set the comments to require approval, which sends a copy of the responses to the teacher, but prevents them from being visible to all the other students. After a specific amount of time, the teacher can discuss the answer to the brainteaser and can either delete all comments or approve the correct answers.

10. Video Tutorials

Assign students to create videos or screencasts of a math concept. Post the tutorials to a Math category on the blog. Now when students are doing homework they can quickly refer to the blog if they need help.

Students become bloggers.