ESL Blog Lesson Plan

Instructor: Suzanne Rose

Suzanne has taught all levels PK-graduate school and has a PhD in Instructional Systems Design. She currently teachers literacy courses to preservice and inservice teachers.

In this lesson plan, ESL learners examine what blogs are and how to use them. The activities are designed to encourage students to express their opinions, reflect on their own communication strengths and needs, and to comment on the postings of classmates.

Learning Objectives

As a result of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define 'blog' and blog-related terms
  • use a blog to practice writing skills
  • use a blog to enhance reflection on learning

Length

45-60 minutes (several days/weeks for follow-up)

Curriculum Standards

  • ELP 9-12.2

An ELL can participate in grade-appropriate oral and written exchanges of information, ideas, analyses, responding to peer, audience, or reader comments and questions.

  • ELP 9-12.3

An ELL can speak and write about grade-appropriate complex literary and informational texts and topics.

Materials Needed

  • Projector or SMART Board
  • Computers with Internet access (1 per student)
  • Sample blogs
  • Sample blog you have created in advance
  • Blog site created for each student in advance
  • Blogging directions and prompts handout

Vocabulary

  • Blog (web + log)
  • Blog site (URL or web address of the online blog)
  • Blogger (someone who writes a blog)

Instructions

  • Use a projector or SMART Board to display examples of online blogs to students.
  • Explain to students that the word 'blog' comes from the combination of the words 'web' and 'log,' where 'log' means a journal.
  • Show students a variety of blogs so that they can see that they can be focused on a theme or topic, or can be similar to online journals.
  • Share several reasons that blogging can be helpful for ESL learners, such as:
    • Sharing their writing with others
    • Reflecting on their learning and growth
    • Providing opportunities for comments (feedback) from others
    • Motivating them to write more and more often
    • Building their writing skills through practice
  • Explain that you have set up blogs for each of the students in the class. (This can be done through any one of a number of free online websites that provide blogs for teachers and their classes.)
  • Display a sample blog that you have developed in advance to show the students what a blog looks like. Your blog should be in the format that you would like the students to follow.
  • For this lesson, students will be asked to blog about their own learning, and their struggles and successes in learning English. They should respond to these prompts when blogging:
    • How do you feel about your writing skills in English? What still frustrates you?
    • How do you feel about your speaking skills in English? What still frustrates you?
    • What did you learn today that was very helpful?
    • What do you still want to learn?
    • Describe an experience you had where your language was a barrier to you doing something you wanted or needed to do.
    • Describe a television show or book that you saw or read recently that puzzled you in some way.
    • Describe an experience you had where you communicated well in English and were successful in accomplishing a goal.
    • How do you feel about learning English?
  • Post or give the students a list of these prompts so that they can use them for inspiration when they blog.

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