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Lesson Plan

Blogtopia: Blogging about Your Own Utopia

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

 

Blogtopia: Blogging about Your Own Utopia

Grades 9 – 12
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Six 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Carey Applegate

Washburn, Illinois

Publisher

National Council of Teachers of English

 

Materials and Technology

Student Interactives

Printouts

Websites

Preparation

 

MATERIALS AND TECHNOLOGY

  • Blog and photo hosting sites

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STUDENT INTERACTIVES

ReadWriteThink Notetaker

Grades   3 – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

ReadWriteThink Notetaker

Useful for a wide variety of reading and writing activities, this outlining tool allows students to organize up to five levels of information.

 

Flip Book

Grades   3 – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Writing & Publishing Prose

Flip Book

The Flip Book is designed to allow users to type and illustrate tabbed flip books up to ten pages long. Students and teachers can use the flip book for taking notes while reading, making picture books, collecting facts, or creating question and answer booklets.

 

Letter Generator

Grades   K – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Writing & Publishing Prose

Letter Generator

The Letter Generator is a useful tool for students to learn the parts of a business or friendly letter and then compose and print letters for both styles of correspondence.

 

Persuasion Map

Grades   3 – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Persuasion Map

The Persuasion Map is an interactive graphic organizer that enables students to map out their arguments for a persuasive essay or debate.

 

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PRINTOUTS

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WEBSITES

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PREPARATION

  1. Prior to this lesson, students should have covered a work of utopian literature. Students might have studied the transcendentalist writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, in particular discussing the utopian societies at Walden and Brook Farm. The ReadWriteThink lesson Examining Transcendentalism through Popular Culture can provide an introduction to the topic. Alternatively, students may have studied Sir Thomas More’s Utopia.
  2. Choose and test a blogging and photo hosting site for your class, such as Blogger. Other free blog hosts include LiveJournal and MSN Spaces. For photo hosting, options include Photobucket and Flickr. As with any open online site, remember that anyone can post to these sites. Some material on them will be inappropriate for your classes. Be sure that the resources that you choose are in line with your district’s acceptable use policy. Some schools filter blogging sites, so you may need to speak with your technology coordinator ahead of time to get approval.
  3. If your school limits computer or blog access consider an alternative, using the Utopian Assignment, Utopian Rubric, and Flip Book.
  4. Make sure that all students have e-mail accounts, which are needed to set up accounts with blogging and photo host sites.
  5. Review the legal guidelines in the Electronic Freedom Foundation’s Bloggers’ FAQ: Student Blogging.
  6. Make copies of the handouts for all students: Blogtopia Assignment, Examples for the United States, Blogtopia Rubric, and The Bare Bones Guide to HTML.
  7. Test the Persuasion Map, Letter Generator, and ReadWriteThink Notetaker on your computers to familiarize yourself with the tools and ensure that you have the Flash plug-in installed. You can download the plug-in from the technical support page.

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