Friday, April 06, 2007

Blogging 1984 - with Parents

Both Maura Moritz and Anne Smith have their ninth grade honors classes (Maura's class blog, Anne's class blog) blogging about 1984. I think that’s good – and a little ironic – in and of itself, but the really cool thing is that they invited the parents to read the novel and blog along with them. The reactions from parents were interesting. Some were very supportive and excited, others were, well, defensive I guess (“I don’t have time”, etc.). Both Maura and Anne made it clear that this was optional on the part of parents, but they highly encouraged them to participate if they could. Both to get a better idea of what their students were learning about, but also to be able to provide a different perspective for these students, most of whom were born in 1991 or 1992. Keep in mind that not only was that over forty years after 1984 was written, and seven-plus years after the year 1984, but they were born after the Berlin Wall came down.

Maura and Anne started out by having the students watch Apple’s 1984 commercial, then watching the Hillary Clinton 1984 attack ad on YouTube. It was very interesting to read the students’ take on these (pretty unaware of the context of both of them), and then have some parents chime in with more information. It will be interesting to see how the parents who have chosen to participate keep up over the course of the unit.

I also like how the students provided some blogging expectations for their parents. The students are also doing some nice scribe posting for this unit.

Image Citation: 1984, originally uploaded by Mushroom and Rooster.


  1. Shout out to the Fischbowl blog on Cyber Compliment Day for inspiring and teaching so many through his blog.

  2. This is fantastic! It's exciting to see how these classrooms have opened up to the wider world. The ideas coming from the parents are priceless. Excellent work, Anne and Maura!!!!

  3. FYI, there is a great virtual world/ game called ThoughtCrime to use with 1984 that was developed by Allan Web from Eastern Michigan University -- you may want your kids to experience it as you blog. I'd love to hear what you think about it and see what you think. (He is on the WOW2 show tonight so I've learned about it recently.)

    Literary Worlds