Monday, October 13, 2014

Idea: Easing into the Launch of a Class Blog

I stumbled upon a process for launching a class blog that was non-threatening to struggling writers and yet, still engaged the more confident scribes in the room.

For our first post, I had students collect ten images (self-created or not) representing different aspects of their lives or personalities.

They then created a slideshow with the images and embedded it into the main page of their blog.  The only requirements: (1) images must be "appropriate" enough to show a roomful of grand-folks, and (2) no text.   No text piques readers' curiosity and prompts them to comment with their questions, thereby inspiring the blogger to draft another post in response.

The next day, I had students create a list of "Top Ten" (any topic of their choosing). I used my own blog as an exemplar, sharing my list of "Top Ten Moments of Bliss" (in no particular order):
  1. Snowboarding with Tommy, my nephew
  2. Receiving my Bachelor's degree- my whole family was there.
  3. Falling in love and realizing it for the first time
  4. Rock climbing, making it to the top, breathing, and then turning around to take in the view
  5. Biking down the Sandia Crest trail
  6. Backpacking around Cuba, up to the mountain valleys (lush)
  7. Bungee jumping off of a New Zealand mining bridge (where bungee jumping first originated)
  8. Walking along the Nova Scotian coastline
  9. Waking up on mornings after a big trek along the New Zealand coast (Akaroa)
  10. Floating on a river through a cave- looking up and seeing glow worms (they looked like stars!)
I asked the class which item on my list was most intriguing to them and conveyed how I could use their feedback to determine the topic for my next post.

Happy blogging!
P.S. I use Google Sites as a platform for our class blog.
If you'd like a template that you can simply copy, leave a comment and I'll kick it your way.