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How to Start a Blog
|Grades||6 – 12|
|Tip Topic||Tips for Teaching With Technology
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Why Use This Tip
No matter what kind of entries teens write, blogs give them a chance to communicate with their readers. Like any kind of writing, composing a blog entry gives teens practice in organizing and presenting their ideas effectively. Once a teen posts an entry, readers can ask questions, make comments, and provide encouragement. This process teaches teens the importance of paying attention to what readers say and think. Teens can later apply these skills to every other kind of writing that they do.
- Choose a blogging site. Free blog hosts include LiveJournal, MySpace, Blogger, and Facebook. Teens will probably need an e-mail address to set up a blog. Sign up for a free account on Gmail if teens do not already have one.
- Share the online help for the site with teens. If you are using Blogger, you can use the Getting Started with Blogger and Blogger Entries and Comments sheets.
- Go over the Common Blog Features, and discuss the features that are available in the site that you are using.
- Show teens how to start a new entry and how to edit an existing entry. Make sure teens knows how to make text bold and italics and how to add a link to another webpage. You can find instructions on the blogging site that you are using.
- For their first few entries, you can suggest a topic for teens to write about, using one of these options:
- You can find journal topics for teens online on one of these sites:
- You can use one of these topics:
- What was the most frustrating thing that happened to you this week? Why did it bother you?
- Write about a movie you've seen recently. Did you like it? What did it do well? What do you wish the moviemakers had done differently?
- Tell a story about something that happened when you were younger.
- Choose a story from the news, and write an entry that responds to what happened.
- Describe a favorite place that you like to visit and tell readers why it's such a great place.
- Remind teens to preview their entries before publishing them. Explain that previewing gives them the chance to find and correct mistakes.
- After teens post their entries, talk about blog comments. Share the Online Commenting Guidelines and emphasize the importance of making useful suggestions and giving supportive feedback.
- Begin the commenting process by asking teens to comment on someone else's blog and comment on teens's blog yourself.