About this lesson
In this lesson sequence students investigate features of a good blog focusing on such things as the concept, purpose, audience and critical features.
Year band: 5-6Curriculum Links Assessment
Links with Digital Technologies Curriculum Area
|Processes and Production Skills||Plan, create and communicate ideas and information, including collaboratively online, applying agreed ethical, social and technical protocols (ACTDIP022)|
Links with other Learning Areas
|Learning Area||Strand and Content Description|
|English||Year 5 English
PMI (Written work sample)
PMI can be used to assess the following content descriptions:
- Year 5: Navigate and read texts for specific purposes applying appropriate text processing strategies, for example predicting and confirming, monitoring meaning, skimming and scanning (ACELY1702)
- Year 6: Use comprehension strategies to interpret and analyse information and ideas, comparing content from a variety of textual sources including media and digital texts (ACELY1713)
Oral group presentation can be used to assess the following content descriptions:
- English – Year 5:
- Clarify understanding of content as it unfolds in formal and informal situations, connecting ideas to students' own experiences and present and justify a point of view (ACELY1699)
- Plan, rehearse and deliver presentations for defined audiences and purposes incorporating accurate and sequenced content and multimodal elements (ACELY1700)
- English – Year 6:
- Participate in and contribute to discussions, clarifying and interrogating ideas, developing and supporting arguments, sharing and evaluating information, experiences and opinions (ACELY1709)
- Plan, rehearse and deliver presentations, selecting and sequencing appropriate content and multimodal elements for defined audiences and purposes, making appropriate choices for modality and emphasis (ACELY1710)
- Digital Technologies – Years 5 and 6
- Plan, create and communicate ideas and information, including collaboratively online, applying agreed ethical, social and technical protocols (ACTDIP022)
- Watch introductory video What is a blog?
- Next, ask students to complete a 'quick write' activity where they have to write quickly (for five minutes) to record any thoughts that come to mind after viewing this short video.
- Choose a few students to share their reflection with the class.
- What is a blog? (two links in case YouTube is restricted):
- Visible timer
Additional scaffolding/Limited abstract thinking skills:
You may want to compare blogs to journals and make connections between written journals and typed blogs. A whole class activity would be to do a Venn Diagram on the board where students can contribute similarities and differences between written journals and online blogs. A further comparison can be made between written (typed) blogs and video blogs (vlogs as they are sometimes called).
Learning map and outcomes
Share learning intentions with students. For example, say:
‘Today we are going to inquire into blogging to find out:
- What is a blog?
- Why do we use blogs?
- What makes a good blog?
- How does our class intend to use the blog?
We are also going to work in teams to begin developing our own class blog.’
Potential here to discuss the specific mindsets, skillsets and toolsets that learners will use. For example, an evaluative mindset, communication skills and a PMI tool.
- Provide students with 5 different blogging sites (See Possible Blogging Sites for review for ideas.) Explain to students that they will be working together in small groups to review these blogging sites. They will use the PMI (Plus, Minus, Interesting) chart to record their responses. It is recommended that students spend 5–10 minutes per site examining up to 5 different blogs. Briefly explain/model how to critically fill in a PMI and explain that the students are using this particular means of recording their thinking in order to support them in making their own blog.
You may want to model how to use the PMI chart on one of the blog websites to helps students complete the rest of the chart.
Alternative or extension activity
Alternative for engagement and expression: You could have students type up their notes in an online document. Then when it is time to share ideas (see below) all groups can add their responses to a collaborative document, which the teacher can display on the IWB in real time.
- After students have had some time to look at the sites, groups will come back and share ideas with the whole class. Record these ideas on the whiteboard or IWB ready for use in the ‘learning construction’ phase.
- Explain to students that they have an opportunity to develop ideas and/or content for different sections of the new class blog that will be created. The actual blog will then be created in a follow-up lesson with a small working group that you select.
Provide students with the opportunity to vote for their preferred choice for the area they wish to develop. Depending on preferences, allocate students into groups, ensuring an even spread amongst the class.
Note: These ideas should come from the discoveries made during the learning input stage. However, you could have different groups working through the development of:
- logo design, headings and backgrounds
- guide to appropriate blog content and rules
- guide to writing a good feedback comment
- 'About us' page
- 'Help' page
- invitation to parents
- frequently used resources.
- To help guide and support students to create their blog, refer to the worksheet, Developing the initial content to create a class blog.
- Fast finishers: If students finish their preparation and presentation early, you may like to encourage them to look at the information about blogs on the BrainPop site and complete the quiz or activities.
- Paper and pencils for student brainstorming
- Access to necessary programs for content development, eg Microsoft Word for documenting; a publishing program for logo design (one device per group)
- Access to the internet (one device per group)
- Assessment Cards for Presentation
- Fast finishers
- Explain to students that they will now share ideas and/or resources with the class through their group presentation. Hand out individual section assessment cards for students to use during presentations. Students to swap the Assessment Cards for Presentation after each presentation so they always have a new area to provide feedback on.
Collect information and/or files that have been developed during the 'learning construction' section of this sequence from students to compile to place on blog during another focus session.
Note: Select students to help with constructing the blog in a follow-up lesson. To cover the 'collaborating online' component of the Digital Technologies curriculum content description, it is essential for teachers to run a follow-up lesson that enables students to actually use the blog that will be developed.
At the end of the class, review the learning intentions with students.
You may like to use the star and a wish strategy for reflection:
- one star for … (positive aspect of work during this session)
- one wish … (something about what the student has achieved this time but would like to change or alter, or something they would like to do next time).