This semester, I came up with the blog title and URL for The Critical Student without any student input. I decided to do this part myself to save time and to help build my own confidence (and technology literacy skills!), but in the future I plan to ask students for input. Following is a lesson plan for generating a title and a subheading for the blog. As soon as I have the opportunity to try out this lesson plan I’ll update this post with reflections, observations and improvements!
LESSON PLAN FOR NAMING THE BLOG
- Introduce the blog–and the audience for the blog–to students
- Brain storm a list of title and subheading ideas
- Show students the shell of the blog with titles that read “THIS BLOG NEEDS A TITLE” and “THIS IS WHERE THE SUBHEADING WILL GO”
- Explain that most homework in the class will involve writing on the blog (it might help to look at the syllabus at this point and describe the modules as analyzing advertisements and popular news, evaluating products and services, informing on issues and arguing for change)
- Show examples of blogs with interesting titles and subheadings (while looking at each blog ask students to identify audience and purpose). Here are some blogs to look at: One Woman. Many Bicycles, Jive-Ass Anchors, A Beautiful Mess
- Discuss who the audience is
- look at the university’s homepage (this is our audience!) and generate a list of words to describe this audience (think/pair/share with homepage projected)
- look at the city’s website (this is also our audience!) and generate a list of words to describe this audience (think/pair/share with website projected)
- show the following YouTube video and discuss what it means to be a part of the millennial generation (add words that describe millennials to this list)
- Break students into groups of three or four and have them come up with a title and subheading for the blog
- Project the blog titles on the board and take a vote (if using the blog for multiple classes have each class vote for their favorite title and then vote on the winners from each class, if collaborating on the blog with multiple instructors consider having the instructor-editors decide on the winner)
Please also see the posts “Organizing the Analysis Curriculum,” “Organizing the Evaluation Curriculum,” “Organizing the Informational Writing Curriculum,” and “Organizing the Argumentation Curriculum” for more ideas on designing the rest of the blog.