Saturday, September 25, 2004

updated lesson idea

Title: Writing Friendly Letters Using Weblogs

Author: Carolina Counts, teacher Mueller Charter School

Summary: Together with my 2nd grade students we will be writing a friendly letter to another class from around the world and posting to a weblog. We will be using the internet for this project, specifically a weblogging site. This will be our online journal (like a pen pal) about us and learning about another culture from around the world.

Context: To be implemented in a 2nd grade classroom with 6 to 7 year-old children.

Duration: This is an ongoing project that will hopefully last the entire school year. I hope to post and receive a response at least once a week.

Goals: To use weblogging as an instructional tool to teach writing using friendly letters. I hope students will learn some similarities and differences between the 2nd grade classes from around the world. Later in the year we will be sharing our ideas on our favorite books and discussing what we are learning in Science and Social Studies.
Standards Addressed - 2.2 Write a friendly letter complete with the date, salutation, body, closing, and signature.

Participants: Another 2nd grade class from somewhere around the world will also be involved

Process: First, the teacher will need to find a participating 2nd grade class from somewhere around the world. I suggest using ePals or similar website. After finding a class to participate discuss with the class the parts of a friendly letter. Next, in table groups invite students to come up with one question and one sentence to include in the letter. The student will brainstorm ideas together. Then the teacher will type it into the computer as the students are observing on the big screen TV. Finally, as a class check the letter for correct punctuation, spelling and grammar.

Resources: ePals and blogger

Policies:
• You can only use students first names (which will be alias names).
• No pictures of students with names.
• Discussion must stay on assigned topic.
• Teacher must ok all posts.
• All language must be appropriate for school (no bad words or put downs)
• Respect others opinions.
• If the rules are not followed you will not be able to post.

Products: What I hope to have is an online journal of reflections, questions, and comments from two 2nd grade classrooms that are located in different parts of the world.

Evaluation: I will know this was effective by going back and reflecting on the student’s letter writing. I could evaluate it at the end of the year by having students write a friendly letter to me about what their favorite part of the writing to the other class was.

15 Comments:

At September 25, 2004 at 2:17 PM, Blogger mrsallard said...

This is a great tool for involving the kids in that specific standard: writing a friendly letter (I taught 2nd last year). Will you also be teaching the friendly letter on paper?

I notice in your process section that you will lead the letter writing in a whole-class setting. Will the students also be participating on their own, or will all of the letter writing take place in a whole-class setting?

It would be fun to incorporate both on-line letter writing AND snail-mail letter writing so the kids can have a comparison.

I also like the editing and proofreading portions of your plan. I have found out something interesting about children and editing. They tend to notice mistakes more quickly when their writing is typed out. Last year I would take the childrens' writing, type it out, and then give it to them for editing. They found more mistakes when it was typed. I am curious what would happen if they are doing this online. Will they be more consciencious (sp?) about their mistakes? Will they be more willing to correct them?

 
At September 25, 2004 at 2:20 PM, Blogger Suzanne Kilburn said...

This is a great way to implement different parts of your curriculum into one activity. It seems like they will be learning writing, reading, and social studies standards all through this plan. What a great idea!

You could even shorten the time that you spend with one class in one place and maybe change states or countries every two months or so and see if you can find another classroom to communicate with there. This way you could learn about more places and during those two months really do some in depth studying on that particular place. I have seen it done in some classes where the entire curriculum revolves around the state or country they are learning about.

The proofreading part at the end I also really like. This is a good way to get your spelling and grammar into your teaching weekly. And that as we know, that is so important to do.

This is such a great idea because it really brings meaning to letter writing for your students. They learn that you always write with a purpose!

 
At September 25, 2004 at 2:49 PM, Blogger Darlene Shaw said...

Great idea!!!

 
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