National Writing Project

Blogging in Place: Writing That Explores New Neighborhoods

Publication: Edutopia
Date: January 7, 2009

Summary: Teachers with the National Writing Project are combining place-based learning, project learning, and blogging to connect classrooms, provide an authentic audience for student writing, and prompt students to explore the world outside the schoolhouse doors.

 

Excerpt from Article

Boardman and Arquillos encouraged their students to blog about their day-to-day lives, and their posts often reflected the differences that come from living in an urban area as opposed to a small town. For example, the San Francisco students, who attended the Galileo Academy of Science and Technology, wrote about the challenges they experienced growing up as immigrants in a new city. The Maine students, from Winthrop High School and Messalonskee High School—Boardman switched schools mid project—lived in small towns and wrote about going deer hunting after school.

The students read each other's blogs during class, and, despite their differences, the teens from both coasts came to realize that they had more in common with each other than they had initially thought. Many students from both California and Maine wrote poetry, for example, and almost everyone, it seemed, was a fan of singer-songwriter Usher.

"The project opened up the classroom to the outside world," concludes Arquillos.

Originally published (1/7/2009) © Edutopia.org; The George Lucas Educational Foundation.
Chang, Momo. 2009. "Student Bloggers Connect with Peers." Edutopia, January 7. www.edutopia.org

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