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Effective Blogging
Content Topic:
Language Arts
In this lesson, part of a larger unit on an introduction to blogging for students, we will explore the qualities of effective blog post writing. Students will work in small inquiry circles to develop responses to this question by examining actual blog posts, exploring articles about effective blog post writing, and discussing the topic virtually with one or more blogging experts via Skype. They will share their findings via a class shared Google Site, and each group will create a page for their findings. In addition, each student will blog the learning/discovery process on his/her individual learning blog.

Introduction to Blogging (this lesson is geared for a Language Arts class but could be adapted for any subject area in which the teacher plans to use blogging as a tool for learning, thinking, and sharing ideas).
Collaboration Potential:
Classroom teacher; blogging expert via Skype
Total Estimated Time:
4.5 hours
Suggested Number Of Sessions:
  • A TL/teacher generated list of blogs for examination
  • Computer access, preferably laptops for small group gathering
  • Google (for searching for articles on how to write a quality blog post)
  • Google Sites
  • Access to Skype, a LCD projector, a large screen, and audio for the Skype virtual conference(s)
The resources are pooled together at
Instruction / Activities:

Day 1

Direct Instruction: 

·         TL will introduce the overarching inquiry question, “What are the qualities of a good blog post?” and provide a brief tour of the research pathfinder. 

·         TL will show students how to join, edit, and create content on the class shared Google Site so that they have a space for sharing their findings. 

·         TL will explain how the students will work together in small groups using laptops at tables so that they can collaborate and take notes on their observations/findings as they explore the list of blogs.


Modeling and Guided Practice:

·         TL will guide students as they take a few minutes to practice accessing and working with the class Google Site.  Any questions about the procedure will be addressed so that students feel comfortable with the necessary technology skills.


Independent Practice: 

·         Small groups of students explore the list of blogs that the TL provided. They work together to read blog posts and identify qualities of good or effective blog writing. 

·         One group member will be appointed to record their notes on the group page at the class Google Site for this project.


Sharing and Reflecting:

·         During class, as a group, students will post their findings from the blog exploration and discussion activity to the class Google Site (on their group page).

·         For homework, individually, students will post their personal reflections on the discovery process to their individual learning blogs. 



Day 2

Direct Instruction: 

·         TL will provide a brief demonstration of how to search Google using a standard search as well as the Google Wonder Wheel and Google Books for articles and book chapters on writing good blog posts.


Modeling and Guided Practice:

·         Class will work with the TL to do a brief practice search after the mini-lesson on Google Search tips, Google Wonder Wheel, and Google Books.


Independent Practice: 

·         Students will use the modeled search techniques to find 2 articles they find informative about writing good blog posts.


Sharing and Reflecting:

·         Students will record their individual findings after reading at least 2 articles and share these findings on their blog posts. 

·         A verbal exchange of findings will also take place as a group activity.


Day 3

Direct Instruction: 

·         TL will introduce the idea of seeking information from experts.

·         TL tells class that a Skype interview has been scheduled with an expert blogger.

·         TL instructs students (in small groups) to develop a list of questions so that the class is well prepared for the interview.  The questions should focus on good blogging techniques, and might relate to the articles the students have already found.

·         Each group will appoint one member to email the list of questions to the TL.


Independent Practice: 

·         Working in small groups, students will share information from the articles they found and discuss observations about the qualities of good writing they gleaned from the articles. 

·         Each group will work together to develop a list of questions for the guest blogger who will visit the class via Skype during the next session.


Sharing and Reflecting:

·         One designated student per small group will email their group’s questions to the TL.


Day 4

Direct Instruction: 

·         At the beginning of class the TL will remind students or the protocol for live blogging a class event. 

·         TL will remind students of the agenda for the virtual guest blogger visit via Skype, including how to speak into the webcam to pose questions.


Independent Practice: 

·         Each group will have an opportunity to pose their questions to the guest blogger via Skype.

·         Each group will have one member contributing to the class “Cover It Live” ( ) live blogging of the event so that the class has a record of notes and observations of the visit to reflect upon.


Sharing and Reflecting:       

·         Students will contribute to the class “Cover It Live” ( ) live blogging of the event so that the class has a record of notes and observations of the virtual blogger visit to reflect upon. 

·         Each individual student will also be asked to compose a brief reflection about the virtual guest blogger visit on his/her individual blog.  The widget for the live blog will be embedded in the class blog.


Day 5

Direct Instruction: 

·         TL will remind students to consider ways of organizing their findings from the week’s inquiry into some meaningful categories and to link to examples of the qualities they identify.


Modeling and Guided Practice:

·          TL will provide some examples of possible categories the groups may want to consider for organizing their findings.


Independent Practice: 

·         In groups, students will finalize their list of qualities essential for good blog posts and add it to the class Google Site. 

·         Students will be asked to organize the qualities into categories and to post links to examples of those qualities when possible.


Day 6

Direct Instruction:

·         TL will lead the class discussion on which qualities should make the final list after each group presents their findings.


Sharing and reflecting:

·         Each group will present their findings to the class and provide time for Q&A. 

·         At the end of class, students will vote on the qualities they feel should make the master class list that will be created by the TL and teacher and posted on the blogging pathfinder.

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Presented By: Buffy Hamilton
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