Top 10 Blog Post Ideas for Students (and Teachers!) by Casey Robertson
Student blogging is a growing practice within the classroom. With district & parent permission and the right privacy settings in place, this is an excellent format for students to express their ideas to an authentic audience. Blogging incorporates the use of technology and writing, helping to bridge the gap between student interest and classroom assignments. This allows students to make the connection that writing isn’t just the assignments that are given in an English class–writing is what they are doing every time they post a tweet or status update. Improving writing means improving their ability to communicate ideas effectively in all settings.
Whether you’re using student blogs for authentic writing purposes of as a means of formative assessment, the following prompts can be assigned or made available for students to select for more self-directed blogging.
Students should know how to properly review a book before they start blogging. With any post, the expectation should be that they provide concrete evidence to support their ideas- they must explain why they have come to the conclusions that they have and provide examples. In my classroom, we use CER- for every claim there must be evidence and reasoning.
- Top 10 Lists
- Books into Movies | The 10 best and/or 10 worst movies based on books.
- Genre | Best genres or books from a specific genre
- Best Books | All-time, for the current year, for the year they were born, etc.
- Best Cover Art
- Literary Crushes | Tobias, Peeta, Prince Maxon 🙂
- Book quotes
- Literary Shockers | Make sure to include a spoiler alert!!!
- Nerdy Book Club Top 10 prompt ideas
- Future Reading
- What’s on my holds list? Have students discuss what books they are planning to read next and why those books have made their list.
- What should I read next? Utilize online quizzes and websites to get suggestions about what you should read next based on books they have enjoyed in the past. Check out Your Next Read and What Should I Read Next? Students could also take a poll or ask for recommendations from their peers
- Results from online quizzes
Provide a list of teacher-approved online quizzes to avoid any inappropriate content.
This is great for the beginning of the school year as you are getting to know each other!
- What’s your genre? Which character are you? Which fictional setting do you belong in?
- What kinds of questions were asked? Do you agree or disagree with the results?
- Book Reviews | Students can submit these to websites and become professional reviewers!
- Review Professional Book Reviews | Do you agree or disagree with their conclusions? How did they support their ideas? Did they persuade you to believe their opinion? If it’s a book you haven’t read, will you read it now?
- Reading Challenges
- Blind date with a book | Choose a book without knowing anything about it, read it, and review it. Would you have read it if you could have chosen it for yourself?
- Book speed dating | Use the same practices found in speed dating to help students learn how to choose new books. Have them write about what stood out to them and why or why not the activity was a success.
- Summer/Winter/Spring Break Reading Challenge | This can be whatever you want it to be. During my student teaching, we had the classes compete against each other to see who would read the most. Donalyn Miller has been facilitating a book-a-day challenge every summer for years. I also found this challenge on Pinterest- Teachers might do this challenge themselves or use this structure to create their own class challenges.
- March Madness | My students are filling out a bracket to determine which characters are the best and incorporating character analysis and persuasive techniques to support their decisions.
- Character CD track/ potential movie soundtrack | What music would your character listen to? Why?
- Character’s Tweet/Status | Use online text, tweet, and status simulators to imagine how characters would express themselves with today’s technology.
- Create or critique a book trailer
- Write letters to authors and characters or AS characters
- Design a book cover
- Write a prequel or sequel
- What is happening with your favorite books/authors in the media?
- Book signings
- News articles
- Blog posts
- Tweets, statuses, etc.
- Holiday celebrations
Lets take an idea from Hazel Grace’s mom and celebrate all the little holidays!
- National Holidays | What’s a good book to read at Christmas? St. Patrick’s Day? The 4th of July?
- National Library Week
- Authors’ birthdays
- Characters’ birthdays | Harry Potter’s is July 31st 🙂
- Book releases
- Movies based on books releases
- Poll Results
Ask a question or create a poll in a blog post, then write about the results.
- All time best book
- All-time best book into a movie
- What should I read next?
- Books to read if you’re missing the Hunger Games
- Resources and books to pair with novels of a given topic/genre
- Writing Prompts
- Author Biography
- Character Analysis
- Literary Analysis
- Compare and Contrasts | Books and their movies, characters from different books, different genres, multiple books of the same genre, multiple books by the same author, etc.
Students are sure to find something they’ll enjoy writing about, and along the way they’ll be practicing the techniques we learn in class. I wouldn’t be surprised if they end up blogging more than is required! And what’s more, they’re forming opinions and learning to defend them and to effectively express themselves along the way. And remember- YOU should be blogging too!
So what do you think? Will you give blogging a try in your classroom???
Casey Robertson is a first year teacher in Dallas, Texas. She teaches 7th grade English Language Arts and Young Adult Literature and also sponsors the school’s student book club. She and her husband have two dogs. Follow her on Twitter @MrsC_Robertson, on Goodreads at goodreads.com/MrsCRobertson, and check out her blog atmrscrobertson.weebly.com