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14 Moodle blog

János Blasszauer

Download the video here

Lesson plan

Time

Questions / instructions

What students do

How students work

What you need

30 min Project Use the Moodle blog
to create an advertisement for your favourite movie.

You could use the
Internet Movie Database
. – use one or more pictures from the Web – include
information about the movie ( names of stars, the director, the film company,
quotations etc.)

You may copy and paste text if you like. – include the
URL(s) of the website(s) you used – tag and save your blog entry
Express your view on your peers’ projects at the Moodle
Forum

Have a look at your group members’
movie ads and answer the following questions: Which advertisement do you
like the most? Why?

Writing Individually the English
Learner Movie Guides

Moodle Blog

the
Internet Movie Database
.

Online Forum

Comments

General introduction

In this content-based lesson on movies students are asked to do a project work. Students use the Moodle blog to create a movie advertisement/poster for their favourite movies. They can use sites such as the Internet Movie Database or movies.com to find relevant information on their favourite films. Students are invited to use one or more visual image(s) from the Web and to include information about the movie ( names of stars, the director, the film company, interesting quotations from it etc.) They should include the web addresses of the website(s) they use. Students are asked to express their personal opinion and to support it with relevant information. They should tag and save their blog entry and afterwards they should express their views on their peers’ projects at the Moodle Forum.

The activity step by step

1. Students are asked to create a movie advertisement/poster for the movie they have chosen using the Moodle Blog’s built-in word processor. I have shown students a sample on the Internet. If necessary refer students to the Technical Tips regarding how to download pictures and text from the Web and how to go on with the word processing.

2. Remind students to copy and paste the web addresses/URLs of the sites they use to get the pictures and information about their particular movie.

3. Students are asked to edit the information they gather and to add their own ideas, and to arrange their pictures and text in a nice format. They are also asked to tag their blog entry so that when anyone clicks on the “movie” link among the blog tags students’ works can turn up immediately.

4. Following this ask students to have a look at their classmates’ movie ads and then to express their views on their peers’ projects at the Moodle Forum. Students should answer the following questions: Which poster did you like the most? Why? They are also asked to use the judging criteria.

5. Teacher could carry out a poll to find out whose work the students like the best and he/she could award the winner.

General advice

Why use this activity? This activity is designed to be fun but it also develops students’ reading and writing skills. The activity is great to introduce some variety and excitement to the lesson and it can give students the feeling of success and they can showcase their work not only to their teacher but to a wide community. They can get feedback from their peers and from visitors to the site. They can showcase their work to their parents and it is a great way to keep record of their classroom activities and to revise language in an enjoyable way.

Usually this activity should last for about 15-30 minutes.

What about any new vocabulary? When students come across an unknown keyword they can highlight it and click on the Wordweb icon in their toolbar to get the definition of the word. WordWeb is a one-click English thesaurus and dictionary for Windows that can look up words from in almost any program. It works off-line, but can also look up words in web references such as the Wikipedia encyclopedia. You can download it free of charge at: http://wordweb.info/free/

Technical tips

See the tutorial I have made for this activity. Nota Bene: I used the copy and paste technique. I placed my cursor at the beginning of the text then clicked and held the left mouse button, while pulling my mouse over the text. This highlighted the text. Then I released the left mouse button. Afterwards, with the cursor over the highlighted text, I right clicked the mouse and from the pop-up window I chose the ‘copy’ option. In the tutorial I show how students can find relevant picture on the Net and insert it on their blog entry. The tutorial also shows the cut and paste technique in action and how a text taken from the Internet can be inserted in a blog entry and how to give the source in the blog. The demonstration also shows how to insert and resize picture (by clicking on it and dragging its corners or sides), as well as how to publish the blog entry so that everyone can see it.

Preparation for class

First of all see the Technical Tips section above on what you have to check before class.

The following checklist might be useful.

1. Teacher makes sure that students know how to search for relevant picture and text on the Internet. Students can use powerful search engines such as Google.

2. Teacher makes sure students are able to use the copy and paste technique. If necessary he could show a demonstration such as the one I have created for this site.

3. Teacher can give students a rubric/judging criteria so that they could evaluate their peers’ work in a coherent way. Here goes one as an example:

Judging criteria

The blog entries will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

Text

  • Argument: a strong central idea that is related to the chosen movie;
  • Organization: a clear, logical organization of thoughts that are supported with concrete and specific evidence; clear introduction, middle and conclusions; effective transitions between ideas and appropriate language and expressing ideas, opinion freshly and vividly;
  • Mechanics: free of mechanical, grammatical, and spelling errors.

Visual composition

  • Topic relevance: relevance to topic (key message is visible and well expressed through visual compositional elements);
  • Originality: original idea that conveys a message which is embedded into a balanced visual composition, its concept, style, layout and design;
  • Visual impact: an attractive work showing quality of the design, care and effort to communicate a clear and relevant message.