Blogging for Books:
Inviting Students to Change the Format of Literature Circles

Presentation for the 14th Annual Conference on Literature and Literacy for Children and Adolescents:
Literature as an Invitation for Creating Change
University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
4 March 2006

Aimee Rogers, Special Education Resource Teacher, Cienega High School, Vail, Arizona
and Judi Moreillon, Clinical Assistant Professor, Northern Arizona University

SWCL Sun Logo


In this session, we will share our experience of blog-based literature circles between high school and graduate students. Our collaboration involves novels set in the Southwest.

To motivate students to read and respond to young adult literature
To integrate technology into the literature curriculum
To conduct an online collaboration between high school and Master's students participating in an adolescent literature course

Blogging with high school students is a challenging adventure.
Book selection - Book Pass for Southwest novels - pdf file (with annotations from the Library of Congress)
Overcoming district restrictions to accessing blogs from district computers
The number of computers available to students during class time
Students' learning curves with technology and posting protocols
Students' motivation and responses to the online environment
Students' proficiency with and perceptions of reading and writing

Blogging between high school and University students is a challenge as well.
Timing, technology access, and time
Unfamiliarity with adolescent students and/or teaching

Polis Discussions
This link takes you to our class Polis Web page. From this page, one can link to our online discussions.

The House of the Scorpion
Why is it good?

The Crossing
After reading and discussing The Crossing, do students have an increased awareness and/or different opinion of immigration issues?

Billy the Kid

Runs with Horses

What motivates students to engage in discussion?

Southwest Children's Literature Web Site

Student Work

The Crossing
Character Portraits and Border Issues Discussion

The House of the Scorpion
Eulogies and Tombstones for El Patron

Billy the Kid
"Wanted" Posters for Billy and the "Smith" Family Gang

Runs with Horses

Sources for Creating Blogs

Blogs Relating to Education

Weblogg Ed ( This site has a plethora of information regarding the use of weblogs in education. Almost daily blog entries provide new information and updates. The site also contains links to numerous blogs by educators, as well as blogs created and used by classes.

Further Information about Integrating Technology Tools

Weblogs in Education-Edublogs ( An article about the use of weblogs in education which contains several links to other sources and articles regarding the topic of blogs in education.

Writing with Web Logs ( An article about the use of weblogs as a means of writing and publishing for students.

Weblogs for Use with ESL Classes ( This article contains information about weblogs and three different ways of using them with ELL/ESL students.

Peggy Steffens ( Steffens, Amphitheater School District, has gathered together resources for teachers on blogs on other web based learning experiences.

Stuart Glogoff ( Glogoff, works in the Learning Technologies Center at the University of Arizona. His site provides links to many examples of the technologies that are being used on the campus. He also provides instructions and further information for the use of blogs in his section on new technologies.


Aimee's Email:
Judi's Email:

Updated: 8 March 2006
Judi Moreillon's Home Page