Encourage Student Writing Through Online Blogs

A lot of students view writing as a chore or they might struggle to find the right words to express themselves.  

Here are four reasons to consider adding student blogging to your writing curriculum:

  • Blogging provides opportunities for students to take more control of their learning.
  • Through online blogging, students become better readers and writers.
  • Blogging encourages critical thought and student discussion.
  • Students learn media literacy through blogging.

How to Teach Your Students to Blog in Five Easy Steps:

Step 1: Have your students choose a topic that interests them.

Once your students choose a topic, they can start conducting research and checking facts. This is a great opportunity to teach your students how to find credible sources online to support their topics.

They can then go on to create an outline of the key points that they would like to discuss. Having a map of what they are going to write will help them to organize their thoughts.

Step 2: Students should create an informative headline that will capture the reader’s attention. You could start by showing your students examples of well-written headlines for online articles and blog posts. Then have them craft three headlines that could work for their chosen topics.

This is also a good opportunity to teach your students the value of peer review. Have your students exchange papers and write a 100-word summary about the headline that is most effective and explain why.

Step 3: Now it’s time for them to write their blog posts. Have your students start by writing an introduction. Here you can model how to capture the readers’ attention in the first paragraph. You should also show your students how the first paragraph should give the readers a clear understanding of what the rest of the blog will be about.

Then, using their outlines from step one, students should start writing a paragraph for each point they would like to discuss. This is also a good time to teach them how to transition from one thought to the next. After the paragraphs are complete, you can model what an effective conclusion looks like.

Step 4: Show students how to find free stock photos to use in their blog posts. Websites such as Pexels and Unsplash have thousands of free photos that your students can download and attach to their blogs. This also gives them an opportunity to connect visually to their writing.

Step 5: Once the blogs have been written and photos have been chosen, students should start revising and editing process.This process should also be modeled, so that students understand that revision is not just about grammar and spelling.  

A good way to start is to have your students pair off and then read their posts aloud to each other. Student writers are more likely to notice sentence structure issues and areas where their ideas don’t flow so well when they hear the blog post read aloud. After that, students can provide written feedback to each other and then rewrite their blogs based on the feedback.

Step 6: Now the fun part! It’s time to post their blogs online. Pressto is a  writing platform that allows students to publish and share their work. You can spend the next class having the students read each other's blog posts and congratulate each other on publishing their first student blogs!