Grade 4
Unit: Blogging Across the Year
Purposes: Celebrate and share learning, real audience for writing, build global online relationships, digital citizenship, Blogs as a writing genre, persuasive writing, student voice
Essential Questions:Is writing the best was to communicate? What are the responsibilities of an individual in the (online) community? How does sharing ideas, interpretations and opinions influence our thinking? Where do opinions come from? What makes an opinion convincing?

Description:The use of blogs as a communication, collaboration and thinking tool will be explored as students learn what blogs are, purposes of blogs, how to effectively post and comment, and how to use a variety of multimedia to communicate and collaborate. First, students will work together to create a class blog, developing an online identity and a personalized online classroom community space. As students learn how to post on the class blog and comment on other blogs, they will learn how how to be a productive, responsible online citizens and how to connect and collaborate with learners beyond the classroom. Students will also use individual student blogs as a forum for sharing ideas, questions, thought, and opinions, supporting them with facts, evidence and details from texts and experiences. Student Blog topics will include relevant social issues and issues raised by historical events, current events, classroom studies and literature. As an enrichment project, interested students will create their own personal interest blog, applying all that they have learned about purpose, form, digital citizenship and communication in an online environment.

Desired Results

Common Core State Standards

Reading Standards for Literature and Informational Text
Key Ideas and Details
1. Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
9. Integrate information from two texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably
Writing Standards
Text Types and Purposes
1. Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
b. Provide reasons that are supported by facts and details.
c. Link opinion and reasons using words and phrases.
Production and Distribution of Writing
4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
5. With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing.
6. With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of one page in a single setting.
Range of Writing
10.Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes and audiences.
Language Standards
Conventions of Standard English
1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking
2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
Knowledge of Language
3. Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
a. Choose words and phrases to convey ideas precisely.
b. Choose punctuation for effect.

CT Grade Level Expectations

Language Arts
Write to persuade an audience to purchase a product or change a rule
Use new vocabulary from informational/expository text, including text from a variety of cultures and communities, in oral and written communication.
Social Studies
Use complete sentences in writing.
Write a variety of sentence beginnings, sentence lengths and sentence structures
Write poems and narratives using literary devices
Write a descriptive anecdote within a narrative
Enhance elaboration
Apply spelling knowledge in writing
Writing Process
  • Plan: choose an appropriate written, oral or visual format based on audience and purpose
  • Draft: complete a draft demonstrating connections among ideas
  • Revise: revise a completed draft, incorporating feedback from peers and teacher, e.g., … helped me understand the topic more clearly, I was confused by…, Be more clear about …, Use a better word for
  • Edit: use multiple resources, e.g., dictionary, glossary, thesaurus, for proofreading and editing
  • Publish/Present: publish and present final products in a variety of ways, including the arts and technology, e.g., book of poetry, a theatrical performance, a newscast
  • Reflect: critique one’s own and a peer’s writing, using established criteria, e.g., I improved on …, This piece demonstrates how well I elaborate.

NETS for Students

2. Communication and Collaboration
Students use digital media and environment to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others. Students:
a. interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media.
b. communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audience using a variety of media and formats.
c. develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures.
d. contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems.

5. Digital Citizenship
Students understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior. Students:
a. advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology.
b. exhibit a positive attitude toward using technology that supports collaboration, learning, and productivity.
c. demonstrate personal responsibility for lifelong learning.
d. exhibit leadership for digital citizenship.

Connecticut Mastery Test Objectives
Direct Assessment of Writing
All Open-ended Strands - supporting with evidence
Essential Questions
The form of communication follows purpose.

The actions and behaviors of individuals can contribute to a positive, safe online learning experience.

-Our own -interpretations and opinions grow and change as we listen to and interact with others.

Our opinions are influenced by our experiences and what we read, view, and listen to.

Opinions are considered more valid when they are supported by factual evidence.
Is writing the best way to communicate?

What are the responsibilities of an individual in the (online) community?

How does sharing ideas, questions, interpretations and opinions influence our thinking?

Where do opinions come from?
What influences opinions?

What makes an opinion convincing?

The student will know...
The students will be able to...
Internet Safety and etiquette
point of view
the Internet as a communication and collaboration tool
cultural and global awareness
practice safe, ethical, responsible use of technology
support ideas and points of view with elaboration of ideas, reasons, and facts
use technology to communicate and collaborate with learners from other cultures
apply knowledge of grammar, punctuation, and writing process to blog posts and comments

Content Vocabulary
digital citizenship

Assessment Evidence
Performance Tasks

Persuasive or Opinion Piece

Persuasive/Opinion Scoring Rubric
Formative Assessments
Blog posts and comments
Exit Cards
Opinion pieces in other content areas
Responses to Essential Questions

Summative Assessments
CMT Direct Assessment of Writing
Writing Prompt

Student Assessments
Reflections on Posts and Comments

Learning Plan
14 Steps to Meaningful Blogging
Educational Blogging
15 Blogging Tips for Students and Teachers
Shredderman, Secret Identify Nolan uses a blog to embarass the class bully. Great discussion starter for issues of online identify, online bullying, and purposes of blog.
Comments 4 Kids
Blogging in the Classroom
Getting Started with Class Blogging

Blog Letter to Parents
Student Blogging Agreement Form
Digital Citizenship This Digital Citizenship website has been created to help teachers, students and parents understand the exciting potential of today's web, and to support them in their efforts to use it safely and effectively

Student Blogging Challenge
Introduction to Blogs
What is a blog? After sharing what they already know about blogs and blogs they've used, students will look at some blogs, noticing the features of a blog, how they are alike and different from each other and from other kinds of writing they are familiar with.
Examples of Blogs
What purposes do blog authors have for their blogs? Students will look at several different types of blogs, discussing the purpose of each one.
Examples of Blogs
Paper Blogs The hyper-linked space of a blog will be flattened into a 2-dimensional paper blog to help students make connections.
Paper Blog Lesson
Original Lesson
Online Safety and Etiquette
Read Shredderman, Secret Identity Nolan uses a blog to publicly display photos of the class bully caught in the act. Great discussion starter for issues of online identify, online bullying, and responsible use of a blog.
Shredderman Website
Shredderman Poinf of View Activity
Webonauts Safety Academy PBSWebonauts Internet Academy is a web original game for PBS KIDS GO! that gives kids 8- to 10-year-old an opportunity to have some fun while exploring what it means to be a citizen in a web-infused‚ information-rich world. It is an engaging experience on its own but becomes all the more powerful when parents and teachers use game play as a springboard for conversations about media literacy and citizenship in the 21st Century.
Webonauts Safety Academy
Tips for Educators
Questions to Ask Before Posting and Tips for Staying Safe Online Students create a list of questions to ask themselves before posting and a list of Online Safety Tips after watching and discussing videos.
Discovery Streaming Video
Safe Talking in CyberspaceStudents learn that they can develop rewarding online relationships, but they should never reveal private information to a person they know only in cyberspace without asking their parent or guardian for permission.
Safe Talking in Cyberspace
Class Blog
Discussing Blog's Purpose Students brainstorm ideas for things they will share on the class blog, beginning to define the purpose of having a class blog.

Our Blog Identities Students will create avatars, online identities, that tell a little, but not everything about themselves.
Avatar Challenge
Blogging Challenge- Make an Avatar
Our Blogging Space Students will discuss how they want visitors to feel when they arrive at the blog, and personalize and make the blog a welcome place. by creating a welcome message and customizing the blog's look
About Me Wordle
Posting on the Blog Students learn how to the logistics of posting content, text and multimedia, through shared writing/posting experiences.
Student Blogging Challenge
Introduction to Commenting Why do we leave comments for other people on blogs? What is the difference between social (friend chats) comments and academic comments?
Small Groups Discuss and Share: Why leave comments on blogs?

Compare social and academic comments
What Makes a Quality Comment? Students analyze quality comments and develop a list of the characteristics of quality comments.
How to Compose a Comment by Mrs. Yollis' 3rd grade students
Team Think/Share or Round Robin Brainstorming
Practice Commenting Students once again use a paper blog to practice writing good comments, commenting on the post as well as other students' comments.
Comment Starters
Comment Cards In response to the comment card idea found in the story Lemonade War, students begin the Friday ritual of Comment Cards.
Read and Comment on Other Blogs Students choose one blog to read and leave a quality comment.
Comments 4 Kids Find blogs for students to read and leave comments
Grade 4 Class Blogs A list of grade 4 classrooms: contact info and blogs
Upper Elementary Classroom Websites and Blogs
Student Blogs
Set Up Student Blogs
How to Use KidBlog
Student Posts and Comments Students will post responses to prompts, challenges, and open-ended questions in student blogs and comment on classmate's posts.
Blog starters
  1. Your favorite idiom
  2. Learning is like…
  3. There are a lot of ways to …
  4. My tip of the day is…
  5. For those who don’t know already …
  6. Thought it would be fun to share …
  7. Have you ever tried to figure out why …
  8. I’m thoroughly impressed with …
More writing prompt lists:
Blogging Activities
Scholastic News What Do You Think? Students blog their ideas and opinions about issues brought up by Scholastic News or other current event articles
Student Reflections
Reflection Prompts
Enrichment: Student Interest Blogs
Blog Plan Students identify his/her blog's purpose and goals and makes plans for posting, sharing and outreach.
Planning Guide
Set Up Blog for Student
Parent Permission Form
Student Reflection
Reflection Prompts