Yup, My Dog Has a Blog

Teddy and Colin

Earlier this year when I edited the Internet Literacy books and learned about different ways to use blogs in the classroom, I started thinking it would be fun to create a blog to communicate with my nephews.  I knew that I would enjoy creating content for them and that they would enjoy having a site on the Internet that was theirs alone, but I didn’t know what a great tool the blog would be for improving their reading, writing, and keyboarding skills.

The idea for the blog’s topic was an easy one.  I brought my dog along with me on a visit to my sister’s house and my nephews took a very strong liking to him.  Every time we spoke after that, they would ask what Teddy was doing at that very moment and they would even encourage me to go online at vetnaturals.com to keep Teddy healthy and strong.  So I told them that I would set up a blog so that they could keep tabs on him.  They didn’t know what a blog was, but they liked the idea of seeing lots of pictures.

I set up a very basic blog at Tumblr.com and at first I simply emailed pictures from my phone.  It didn’t take long before the boys learned how to make comments and ask questions.  My sister told me that they were eagerly awaiting the next post and asking to check the blog frequently.  I started adding very basic text and asking questions for them to answer.

I write the blog from the point of view of my dog, and also respond to their comments as Teddy.  I think that in writing to a dog and not a person, they feel freer to make mistakes and take risks in their writing.

At first, seven-year-old Riley did all the typing for both of them, and his spelling skills began to get better and better.  I started noticing that he was making an effort to use punctuation more often and to capitalize names and other words.  Soon six-year-old Colin was determined to read and type for himself and have his own conversation.  His skills are improving as well.  Colin is a more reluctant reader than his brother is, and would generally rather be read to than read by himself.  The blog is the only thing he is determined to read on his own.  He only asks for help if there is a word he doesn’t understand.

If you’re looking for a new way to engage your young students, try creating a simple blog from the point of view of a class mascot, your own pet, or a character you make up.  You can use a service like Edublogs to create a free site that is accessible to only your students. Try to respond to all of the comments to keep the conversation going.  For my nephews and me, it’s been a great learning experience and a fun way to develop their reading, writing, and technology skills.

One thought on “Yup, My Dog Has a Blog”

  1. Korie M.

    I love the idea of creating a blog from the perspective of an animal. I teach 2nd grade and am just starting to experiment with a site called Schoology (https://www.schoology.com/home.php) which has a blog feature among other things. I think I might adapt your idea to use in my classroom. Thanks for sharing!

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