On Tuesdays, I teach Olivia, a local seventh grade homeschool student, writing, rhetoric, theatre, movement, and gymnastics (not every subject, every week!). After reading Romeo and Juliet together, I asked Olivia to write an essay about how Juliet changes/matures throughout the play. In her second draft, she made a connection between Juliet and the character Bella from the wildly popular novel, Twilight. The connection so inspired her thoughts that I suggested she focus her entire essay on that topic. We took a long walk, talking out the many similarities and differences in the two female characters. After the walk, I told Olivia about blogging and asked if she would like to try writing about the connection via a blog. She said yes. What resulted was an incredibly engaging learning experience wherein we both excitedly entered a circle of blogging-and-commenting. I taught Liv to upload her brainstorming drawings, walk-reflections, first and second drafts, and interesting links to her blog. While at first, blogging seemed to affect the tone of her writing in a less-helpful way (i.e. she wrote very informally and quickly), after time, it became an incredibly interactive venue. I’m curious: How did her perceptions of writing change after her creation of the blog? How did her perceptions of teacher-student interaction change? The problem with these questions is: I have little hard evidence of her perceptions of writing pre-blog. Solutions: I can ask her to reflect post-blog about how her perceptions have changed. Can this be considered evidence? Any thoughts? Any other experiences with young writers and blogging out there???
Check out Olivia’s Blog: http://julietnbella.wordpress.com/about/.