Students use their social media accounts all day long—likely both in and out of school. Meet them on their turf by assigning homework to be completed on various social media websites. Students will be excited to use the websites they love, and you can take lessons outside the classroom and bring them into the real world.
Give students a discussion prompt, along with a hashtag to use, and watch as the conversation happens that evening. While students will be logging on at different times, it will be interesting to watch the discussion unfold. Require each student to write at least three responses and reply to at least one of their peer’s tweets.
With Twitter as a discussion forum, you can join in as well, helping the conversation along if it seems to be lacking in substance.
2. Trending Current Events
Citizen journalists are everywhere on Twitter. Use this as an opportunity to teach students how to follow and understand real-time, current-event reporting on social media. Choose one of the trending topics on Twitter (“Trends” is located on the homepage feed) and then ask students to find at least three reputable sources that discuss this current event.
3. 140-Word Reviews
Students love movie day in class, but are they really paying attention? For homework, have students write a review of the movie in 140 words or less on Twitter. You can create a hashtag for this homework assignment so it’s easier for you to make sure that all students submit their review.
4. Business Facebook Page Design
If you’re teaching students about business or economics, this is a great way to add that ever-elusive, real-world element. After students have written their business plan, have them create a Facebook page for their new company.
They’ll need to create and determine a number of elements, all of which you can include in your rubric. For example:
- Create a logo
- Create a cover photo
- Fill in the “About” tab: you can decide what areas they’ll need to fill in (category, subcategories, short and long description, etc.)
- Post at least three things on your wall: encourage students to share information about their company or content that supports their “mission”
5. Classroom Poll
Have one student a week write a poll question in your private classroom Facebook group based on the lesson of their choice. The other students have to log on and write a comment as their response to the question. The polling student puts that information into a Google spreadsheet at the end of the week and reports on the results and what they mean.
Instead of having students write an outline, have them create it on Pinterest. Each student creates boards—you can choose a minimum number—for the various topics they plan to discuss in their paper.
Their boards then act as creative inspiration when typing their first draft. Require them to label their boards (topics) as they plan to in their paper and write a paragraph about that particular section (topic) in the description area of their board.
When finished, encourage students to add some of their inspiration photos to the final paper.
7. Visual Book Reports
Have each student choose three main themes from the book, write a summary about the theme in the “description” area of the board, and then use imagery to show the themes from their point of view.
8. Photo Contest
Instead of having students write about a topic, have them show you their understanding of it in photographs via Instagram. For example, ask students to explore the themes of To Kill a Mockingbird. Students would take pictures that depict the main ideas that were discussed in class.
Note: If you already use social media in your classroom, adding these assignments to your current plans will be easy. If not, be sure you have permission from all parents (check out this social media permission form) before giving any of these assignments to students.
This is a guest post from contributing writer, Jessica Sanders. Jessica is the Director of Social Outreach for Learn2Earn, an online fundraising platform that allows students to raise money by reading books. She grew up reading books like The Giver and Holes and is passionate about making reading as exciting for young kids today as it has always been for her. Follow Learn2Earn on Twitter and Facebook, and send content inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.