Sunday, April 3, 2011

Teaching Blogging to Middle Schoolers and Teens: Group Projects

As I said in a post last week, I am co-teaching a class on blogging for middle schoolers and teen.  One of the things that we discussed last week were online projects students can do together to help build a community of people who have interests in similar things and to attract new readers to their own blogs.

Here are some examples of such group projects that we visited in our latest class:

Teen Book Club Blog Tour and Giveaway
Lipstick Laws Blog Tour by Amy Holder
This one was not initiated by teens, but it is geared towards them.  YA author Amy Holder is conducting a "blog tour" to promote her new teen novel, Lipstick Laws.  Blog Tours are similar to convention Book Tours, except that each day the author visits virtually a different blog instead of a different physical book store.  So Amy has arranged three weeks of unique online interviews, articles, and reviews on 15 different blogs that relate to Young Adult literature or teen culture.  She is also giving away one copy of her book each week by drawing among everyone who comments on her blog tour posts on the different blogs.

Teen Blog Theme Event
Make Believe:  A Peter Pan Event!
In this event (which was done last year), the teenage blogger invited readers to post something related to the book Peter Pan in one of four categories:  Peter Pan-related blog post, Neverland-style, My Own Neverland photoshoot, or Dreaming of Peter Pan.  Post authors had a week to post their entries and then the blog readers voted on their favorites.  The winning entries (which can be read here) got, besides eternal glory, a special graphic or blog button they could post proclaiming their vicory.

Teen Book Blog Carnival
Spring Reading Carnival
A blog carnival is where a bunch of blog all agree to post articles on a common subject during the same timespan, and readers go from blog to blog to blog, reading about that topic.  In this case, the carnival was organized by a bunch of different Young Adult novel review blog, with different book giveways among different genres (romance, paranormal, etc.).

Online Teen Fashion Contest
Nancy Drew Fashion Week
There are lots of teen fashion blogs, and quite a number of contests like this, where the blog presents a challenge and people post photos of outfits or clothes items that they think meet the challenge.  This particular one deal with dressing like fictional girl detective Nancy Drew in one of three categories:  Nancy Drew-Vintage (vintage clothes that look like they came out of the original versions in the 1940s-1970s), Nancy Drew-Modern (what Nancy Drew would look like today), and Nancy Drew-Costume (an actual Nancy Drew costume).

There are many other kinds of contest and events and other group activities, but these are some good examples to get your teen blogger's ideas flowing about how to create a group event around his/her blog, cause, and/or interests.

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