Ideas for challenge activities

This is the fifth challenge I have organized and I seem to be running out of ideas for challenge activities. I wonder if the students and teachers who have taken part in previous years, or those who will be joining us for the first time, could think of some interesting topics we could include.

Many of the students  will be blogging for the first time so everything will be new, but some students  will have been blogging for over six months. Perhaps some of you took part in the challenge in March – I don’t want to repeat the same challenges so, please

“Give me some ideas!”

Original image: ‘Green Elephants Garden Sculptures

Green Elephants Garden Sculptures

by: epSos .de  Released under an Attribution License

41 thoughts on “Ideas for challenge activities

  1. Hi – I’m new to your blog and just learning about your blog challenge. It’s wonderful! I’m very excited to have my son, who is homeschooled, join you. I have looked over some of your past challenges to get an idea of what you’ve done in the past and I have a few suggestions for the new challenge:
    1. Write about one place – anywhere in the world – where you’d like to visit. Include a picture and an explanation of at least three things you’d do there.
    2. Write about one or more of your favorite websites. Explain what the site is and why you like it.
    3. Do a “Wordless Wednesday” Post (with no words, of course!)
    4. Pick a food and describe it in as much detail as you can.
    5. Visit other blogs that host regular challenges for students:
    “Ignite to Write” at http://ignitetowrite.blogspot.com/ and participate in a writing challenge there. Leave a comment or write a post on your blog.
    6.

  2. I agree to the idea of choosing a place and describing it, but i might have some helpful suggestions:

    1. Describe an animal that you would create
    2. Pretend that you are stranded somewhere and write about what would happen
    3. Give suggestions on how other blogs can improve

  3. One challenge we were going to do with another class from Canada but it never eventuated was to take the road signs in our country and do something with them, perhaps say what it says about our country. Possibly could be a class challenge?

    • Thanks for the idea, Bill. I have never had them actually write a narrative as one of the challenges, yet I have done that sort of activity in class for literacy lessons.

  4. I haven’t read all the old challenges, so these might be repeats:

    I think a blogroll challenge would be good. Perhaps “Find three bloggers (not in your school!) whose work you enjoy and add them to your blogroll. Write a post introducing them to your readers and sharing your favorite article from each blog.”

    Or how about a “Think up a Meme” challenge? (See How to start a blog meme. Hint: Don’t make your meme too difficult!) What do the students think would be a fun thing for bloggers to write about? They can make the rules for their own meme, and maybe design an image to go with it, and then participate in their favorite memes from the other students (with, of course, a link back to the originator).

    • The idea of a meme is great. I wonder how many different ones they could come up with – I could then correlate into one post with links to them all. Mmmmm some great ideas being sent to me, thanks, Denise.

  5. My students don’t write a lot, because they are learning the language. They enjoy doing a bit of writing, and commenting, but reading will have to be in short extracts, not large chunks.
    I think meeting other students of a similar age is good. Sharing cultural similarities/differences is always good, and talking about their favourite things, or places they have come from, been to/ what languages do you speak etc.. Simple questions to answer, weekly, is good. Many will probably end up commenting on each others blog.
    Also the non-copy right places to get some images was good last time.
    voki was good.
    and maybe image chef, and short, fun things like that. They don’t have cameras or memory sticks, and are first time computer users, my job is a little stressful at times, so doing the blog challenge is a huge challenge. But well worth it,, so we in in for the 2nd time, but with new students, again.
    They would like to know about using icons too, we are doing facebook as well.

  6. FOCUS ON GENRE
    My idea for some classroom challenges would be to focus on the different types of blog posts – and on the conventions we associate with each. Here are some common examples.

    LINK POST
    A series of high-quality links organized around a specific topic, possibly annotated – in a fun way.

    HOW-TO POST
    Instructions about how to do/make something, possibly we could include that there must be pictures (photos or drawings) and that it relate to our region or families.

    SURVEY-POST
    Survey using one of the widgets so that students are encouraged to get fellow students to visit their blog, or using paper-and-pencil and then students could collate the results using technological tools (e.g. Excel, graphing programs.

    VISUAL POST
    A post where the message is transmitted through the title of the post and an image(s).

    Evelyn Yvonne Theriault
    All Things Quebec
    Candiac (Quebec, Canada)

  7. I’m thinking of ways to incorporate media, such as the inspiring TED talks (http://www.ted.com/) or oral histories that relate to content we’re discussing in class (for instance, the amazing survivor testimonies found at http://college.usc.edu/vhi/), into blogging this year. Perhaps as a way for students to respond and share to those that move them to think differently, act, laugh out loud, etc. Looking forward to a new year and excited about the blogging challenge.

  8. Pingback: Join The Student Blogging Challenge Now – Starts Mid September! | The Edublogger

  9. hey! this challenge is a great idea-i Tweet and blog about re-appropriating social media (twitter, blogs) for education-lesson plans, teachers teaching teachers, media literacy, etc. some ideas:

    visual literacy: creating iconographics (see last week’s NYTimes Education section for ideas)

    relating to your audience: news (local, international, etc) that relates to a topic you’re teaching

  10. One of the most powerful things we can do as parents and educators is to name students as readers, writers – and bloggers! As a blogger myself, one of the things I do is try to improve my blog by becoming aware of the collective blog wisdom on the internet. My suggestion is to look at some of that wisdom, something from Sue Waters or Darren Rowse say, and have kids choose the recommendations they think will enhance their own blogs. Darren might say “content is king”. What does that mean? What blogs do they like that aspire to that model? How can they beef up their own content? How can they assess if spending time on content pays off in blog traffic? How can blog traffic be measured anyway? Sue might suggest that selective use of widgets can enhance a blog. What widgets do they like? What widget will they choose for their own blogging purposes?

  11. Kia Ora from NZ… I loved using the challenge for shared reading and writing with my class in February. This was the beginning of our school year and we used the blog as a means to model publishing, giving feedback (2 stars and 1 wish) and online safety/use. The one thing I found really tricky to get my head round was the ping backs… is there a way to play ping tag to help understand this concept?

    Also, while it is encouraging to receive comments… is there room for an “Introducing one of my commenters” posts? To present it a little bit like reflective listener… this is____ from ___. His/her comment helped me because _____. Maybe then adding to the blog roll…?

  12. 1. Prepare a post that would highlight a tourist attraction in your city/state. Write about the attraction giving information that would interest the reader. Include pictures.

    2. Have students make a powerpoint of famous people in their state that interest them and include background information. Inlcude pictures. (Many students are unaware of the history of people in their city, state, province, etc.

  13. We could do a “zoom” post. Take a picture, and have us zoom out, so to speak. So maybe something simple, like a pillow, and we describe something bigger around the pillow (like a couch) and somebody else would write about the room it was in, and the next could zoom out the window and do the house, etc. This may be no good, or a repeat, or something like that. I’m a first-time blogger, and a 12 year old student. So what would I know? But we did something like this in class in 4th or 5th grade and it was fun.

    • Dragon, 12 or not, I like your idea. This may be something that I try with my 4th grade bloggers once I work out how I can present it to them. When we complete the task, I’ll try to locate you and let you see what we did.

    • Dragon,
      I agree that yours is a fantastic idea! A sad part of education is that the adults don’t listen to kids enough. The adults call all of the shots and too easily discount anything that kids have to offer. And who are the ones getting educated anyway? The kids! What a waste! Keep those great ideas coming!

  14. i think that maybe you could have a challenge where everyone should have to get at least 3 widgets such as clustr maps and upload them on their blog.
    <3
    CHH

  15. That students could create a wallwisher. You get one from wallwisher.com. You post a question like: what is your favorite thing about blogging or what is your favorite blog. The wallwisher can be embed into your blog and people can post their questions on it. There is also a site called answer garden that does the same thing but it just leaves the words and the more people put the same answer it grows.

    -Mr. Haney (Tennessee)

  16. I think there should be a challenge where you would have to describe your favorite thing as best as you can. Then someone else could comment on your post guessing what it is.
    I would like to do this (:

  17. Pingback: Time for a break | Challenge Yourself to Blog

  18. I am looking for ways to encourage my students to link their learning in class to our blog, and to the wider world.

    What about an activity that gets students to present their understandings on a topic – or to collect data about a topic – with students from other states and countries. To help them gain a global perspective of an issue that they have been studying locally.

    I’m not sure about the best blogging “gizmo” to use for this (still consider myself a blogger with L plates), but I would love the opportunity to try something like this.

  19. Hello Miss W!
    You could have a challenge post about your dream job or aspiration when you’re older (for students). You could explain why it interests you and you could embed some kind of media pertaining to it. Teachers could write a post about what lead them to become a teacher and they could give advice for students that are interested in becoming teachers.
    -Dominique

  20. Maybe you could do a challenge where kids use a free video creation program like animoto, or screenr to create a movie telling visitors about something they could do in their town or city.

  21. Yeah i think people could rite about some exciting things that have happened to them in their lives or something scary. then they could write a poem or story about it, fictional or real.

    i have another idea!! you could have a challenge where students write a poem based on something interesting.

      • No if your teacher goes to her dashboard, clicks on Pro section, there is a link called ‘Upgrade 50 student blogs’. She clicks on that, puts in ameliaw2018 and when it comes up clicks on disable ads. Then you will be able to add embed code like Voki and cartoons etc.

  22. My idea is to have kids write about Internet, Social Media, TV, Video games, whatever is a magor aspect of their lives and tell how it has influenced otherthings in their lives or how it has changed they way they do things or interact with others.

      • i dont think u should do a video challenge cause i have the free version and i cant do those things and do the voki thing for one of the other challenges….so i vote NO! on that idea

  23. My idea is related to Matt’s idea (above) but takes it up a notch. It is a scary idea for many adults but requires the cooperation and support of adults to be successful. However, I believe it is a logical next step in the blogging challenge.

    My idea is to create video blogs (vlogs) such as this example from Science Girl Em. She’s only eight. She needed her dad’s permission and help putting it together. Any teacher who does this activity will need parental permission and support as well.

    So why do this? Some educators, myself included, now believe that video creation is a new form of literacy. To continue to ignore it, is to ignore one of the most powerful communication tools on the planet, leaving kids to their own devices for figuring things out on their own. This is certainly not what I want for my kids!

    Digital cameras and internet access are becoming ubiquitous. Kids are putting videos online every day. It would be really nice if there were some adults willing to help guide them in decision-making in this area.

    If you need an idea for a beginning topic, why not vlog about favorite foods or household items? Explain what it is called, what it is used for, and show what it looks like. The different pronunciations from around the globe for the same items will surprise and astonish us. I’m looking forward to your thoughts on this idea.

    • What Bill said explains the point I’m trying to make. The Internet has become a powerful tool in the hands of a capable person, but so many people today choose to ignore it because internet today has become more popular from the days people would have to actually talk to each other. Thing like email, facebook, and twitter have only been around for a few years/ Hard to believe in such a short time they have monopolized some peoples lives. Thats why people have to take things in moderation.

      • Moderation is the key in all areas of life, isn’t it? Although there are new technologies, and it is more profuse, we have been in a mediated world for over 50 years. What’s wonderful about today is finally the playing field is level and anyone with something to say has a way to be heard. Before, only the one-way broadcast media could be heard on any widespread level. Now that the read/write web is here, and high speed internet is spreading, it is time for people to learn to communicate in this new medium, even kids.

  24. Math Challenge Idea:

    I am a middle school math teacher. I stumbled upon a great interactive site for middle school students:

    http://hoodamath.com/

    It is an interactive gaming site where students can compete against other students to reinforce basic algebra, geometry and logic skills. There is also a test section where students can take a timed test and the results get emailed to the teacher.

    My challenge to my students is to explore the interactive arithmetic games, they have to try to obtain their highest score and then blog / write about their experience. Moreover, all scores can be submitted to me via email and I can use it as an informal assessment.

  25. Hey! I was thinking, this challenge is to get people from other countries and background to come together and blog, so I have an idea for one of the challenges…:)

    Pick one, or more of your ethnic backrounds and post about the culture. ANYTHING! Food, religions, sports, festivals, languages, etc. Then, put a picture of the flag up, and a place in the country/region posted about.

    Its just an idea! Thanks:)
    -Eileen

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