Blogging about Books
The purpose of this lesson is for students to track the books donated in a book drive. Students will use the idea of paying it forward to create a blog and track how far their donated books have traveled and read student reactions to the books.
The learner will:
- create blogs using Weebly or another school-appropriate site for creating websites and blogs.
- write about the books they have chosen to donate.
- monitor and write about student reactions to books.
- Access to computers
- A computer connected to a projector for teacher use
Students with computers at home can continue to blog about their books or respond to other students’ posts about the books.
Note: Before going to the computer lab, each student should select a donated book for the blogging activity.
Ask students to describe their favorite blogs. For the students who are not familiar with blogs, explain that blogs are web-based journals where the author publishes reflections and images that others can read and respond to. Tell the students that they will be creating their own blogs to share their thoughts about the books they are donating. Then when they donate a book, the readers who receive the book can access the blog and add comments about the book and monitor where the book travels.
Day One: Meet in the school computer lab
With students in a computer lab, explain appropriate Internet procedures and/or school policies for Internet usage.
Tell the students that they will each create a blog to track the reading of one book from their donated book pile as it is passed from reader to reader. Each student should have a single book chosen for this activity.
Have students open a web browser (Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox) and type www.weebly.com into the address bar.
On the left hand side of the page students fill in their information in the “Create a Website” box and click the box to agree to the terms and conditions (or they may login in the upper right hand corner if a username and password has been pre-assigned). Make sure they give you their names and passwords so you have a record of the sites and can monitor their work.
On the following page, students choose a name for their website. (They will need to select Option A: Subdomain of weebly.com).They may either create an original name or use the book’s title.
On the next page, students can begin exploring and creating their Weebly site. Show students the features by asking them to watch the projector as you walk them through the steps.
- Select a design by clicking on “Designs” tab at the top.
- Add a page title by clicking on the existing title and editing it.
- Set up a blog by clicking on “Pages” at the top, and selecting “New Blog” under “Manage Pages.”
- Select a name for the blog by typing it into the “Page Name” box and clicking on “Save.”
Allow students the remaining class time to follow these steps and begin creating their own page.
Day Two: Meet in the computer lab
With students in the computer lab, have them navigate to the Weebly website and sign in to return to their pages.
Students navigate to their blog page by clicking on the blog page.
Have students begin their blog by writing about themselves and their donated books, using the following prompts:
- Write an introduction about yourself: Name, Age, School, City
- What do you like about the book you are donating?
- What do you hope that the recipient will learn from the book?
- What would you like to recipient to do with the book once they are finished reading it? (Ask them to passthe book onagain and respond to the blog in a similar fashion.)
This will complete the time in the computer lab. At this point, students should record their websites inside the books with a little explanation of passing the book on and tracking it on the website (using Read n’ Give stickers, or a similar method) and drop them in the donation box.
Additionally, students can work together to compose a letter that will explain the Blog About Books project to the recipients of the books. They can put a copy of the letter in the pages of the book.
Students’ websites can be evaluated for proper content and blog entries.
Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
Benchmark HS.1 Define and give examples of motivations for giving and serving.
Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
Standard VS 05. Integrating the Service Experience into Learning
Benchmark HS.2 Evaluate progress on the service-learning project before, during, and after the project.
Benchmark HS.3 Identify outcomes from the service.