Tweet to Learn

twitter logo white bird on a blue background

Activity Name: 

Purpose:  An innovative activity to help learners develop their writing skills and improve their writing focus in 140 characters or less!

Preparation Time:  5 minutes

Materials Needed:  index cards

Procedure:

Tweeting has rapidly become a mainstay in online communication, allowing people to share thoughts and observations that would otherwise remain in their head. Most students will be familiar with concept of tweeting; some may even have their own Twitter account. Tweeting can allow students to explore fun topics and be able to write more casually, since the structure behind tweets is fairly open. Learners can get creative with their writing without needing to follow stylistic conventions.

  1. Select a topic that is of interest to learners, such as an upcoming field trip, a holiday, or a school event.  You could also show a trailer for a movie, or preview a story that they are going to read in class.
  2. Have the learners discuss the topic in small groups. The learners can talk about why they are interested in the topic, what they think they will see or learn, and ask any questions that they have about it.
  3. After the groups have finished discussing, have each group work together to create a tweet about the topic. The tweets must be 140 characters or less, and should focus on one main idea. Bonus points in the groups include a hashtag! Once groups are finished writing their tweets, have them share them aloud with the rest of the class.
  4. Give each learner an index card, and have them write their own tweet about the topic. For example, if learners are writing about an upcoming potluck party at the school, a learner might write: Very excited for the food at the party next week! So many delicious foods from all over the world. I need to start cooking! #foodforeveryone
  5. Tape the tweets up to a space on the wall so that everyone can read them. You may want to repeat this activity once a week and change out the tweets each time. You could also start a class twitter account and post some tweets online.

Read about how a 6th grade reading teacher integrated Twitter into his reading lessons. You can find examples and tweeting worksheets from him at http://www.philipcummings.com/chief-tweeting-officers/ . Find a Twitter worksheet for practicing in your class at https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0JooIKHprPraUllRXdINUZvOGs/edit

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