Tag Archive for sports

Blogs as Text: Sports & Pop Culture


As a continuation of yesterday’s post, today we’ll focus on using pop culture, sports and current events blogs in the classroom.  It’s easy for me to sell any teacher on the idea of implementing blog reading that delves into current events; students need to be global citizens.  But pop culture and sports blogs can tricky.  Students need to gain more than the latest gossip and team scores.

While TMZ and Perez Hilton have their place, the blogs I’ve chosen to highlight today cover all of the same issues but with the type of style and “smarts” that makes them attractive to classroom teachers and still engaging to students.  As with anything you aren’t simply looking to entertain your students.  While offering these blogs can be part of a reading “choice” program, expectations should still remain high in terms of the social, political and cultural commentary students construct in response.

Ultimately, all of these blogs offer up “news” in varied formats but more important, they provide commentary.  Often the arguments they formulate are both relevant and engaging.  It is this type of writing that enriches student reading and knowledge.  The fact that it’s a blog simply makes it a tech forward and readily accessible choice.  Don’t forget to see our lessons for writing and annotation extensions.  They are ready to implement along with any blog driven reading assignments.  And remember, all of these are simply suggestions and starting points.  Always check The New York Times blogs for more choices.

The blogs overviewed are the best choice for offering content and commentary.  Also included but not overviewed are blogs that provide substantive information on the areas of focus and less commentary.

Current Events

Analysis & Opinion-Reuters

Anything dealing with current events demands that students read and choose based on their interests.  Reuters’ blog about current topics spans the globe and offers lenses through which to interpret the news they provide.   While posts can be challenging, they will engage students in online opinion pieces that debate global politics and the role of the U.S.

Don’t forget to examine The New York Times Room for Debate site.  While not a blog it is still an incredible useful supplement for students.

Information driven blogs include: The Two-Way, The Lede, Global Spin



Sporting Scene-The New Yorker

I can’t think of a better scenario.  The New Yorker, with all its style and grace, creates a sports blog.  Every post is so well crafted you will think you stumbled upon a non-fiction treasure and your students will never stop thanking you when you tell them that they can supplement their reading with a sport blog.

Information driven blogs include: The Early Lead, ESPN Sports Blogs


Pop Culture

Monkey See-NPR

This is by far, one of the best pop culture blogs to use with students.  Post include thoughtful commentary on TV, film, literature, and everything else popular culture.  These blog posts don’t just identify current trending topics.  Instead, they evaluate the usefulness of these trends.  Nothing is better for teaching students argument evaluation and the larger implications of pop culture.


Information driven blogs include: Celebritology 2.0, Media DecoderThe TV Column

Weekend Tech: NBA Lockout

Nothing makes me pay attention like the headline “Federal Mediator to Step into NBA Lockout.”  It’s a giant train wreck unfolding.  There is something ironic in the fact that the NBA is tweeting about their own demise.


The idea of giving students a current topic to read/write over isn’t a new one.  Everyone uses this idea.  But this weekend we’ll up the stakes a little bit by looking at some different types of online sources to teach rhetorical appeals and voice.

Examining Headlines

One of the easiest ways to talk about rhetorical appeals or voice is to look at smaller sections of text.  Practicing with smaller sections ensures that students don’t get overwhelmed in a sea of text and then quit.  Headlines are great for a mini lesson.  Have students write about the word choice in some/all of the headlines below.  At the very least you can have them practice some solid synonyms for tone.  You can see from the range below that they range from the practical, to the apathetic, to the angry.

NBA lockout: Owners, players can’t solve issues fans wish they had

Tracee Hamilton, The Washington Post


NBA lockout: Sound and Fury signifying, nothing

Mike Wise, The Washington Post


NBA Benefits Plan Typical…For Millionaire Ballplayers

Maxwell Murphy, The Wall Street Journal


NBA Lockout? Wake us when it’s over

Patrick Hruby, The Washington Times


NBA Lockout Presses Small-Business Owners

Emily Maltby and Sarah E Needleman, The Wall Street Journal


Necessity Dictates Fewer Games, but Sanity Makes a Case, Too

Richard Sandomir, The New York Times


NBA Players Should accept pay cut, get back to work

Bill Plaschke, The LA Times