Using Twitter With Primary Students

Five simple lesson plans to introduce Twitter in YOUR classroom!

Before you get started:
• Set up a twitter account using a name that is professional.
• Set a photo up of yourself and/or your classroom
• Communicate with parents that you have a twitter so they can follow your feed and keep updated daily!
• Follow other classrooms both within the district and around the world!

Lesson 1: Introducing Twitter

What is twitter?
Twitter is a social media resource to find out what is going on in the world and in your community. We can use Twitter to find out what other people and classrooms are doing but also to share what we are doing each day. Twitter can help us learn facts about things by providing us with other resources but also can keep us connected to current events around the world.

Define & Show on projector:
Class Home Page: This is where we can see our previous posts and also connect to who we are following and who is following us.

News Feed: This is where we can see posts made by others that we follow.

Lesson 2: Reading Tweets

Review Lesson 1

On the projector, show students news feed and read a few of the tweets together: Find a tweet that the students find particularly interesting and model how to “favorite” that tweet, by clicking the star below the tweet. Favorite means we liked what they had to say. Find another tweet that shares information that the students like. When we see a tweet that we like, and also want to share with others, we can re-tweet, by clicking the
arrowed button. Re-tweet means to tweet again. Model how to retweet and then go back to your home page to show students how the tweet appears on your feed.

Lesson 3 : Writing a Tweet

Review Lessons 1 & 2
What happens when we want to share something we are doing? We write
a tweet. On projector, show students home page. Point to the tweet button in the top right corner. This is how we compose, or write, a tweet.

On the board make a list of tweeting “rules”:
–Tweets can only be 140 characters. A character is a letter, space, or mark.
–Tweets do not need to be sentences but need to be understandable
–Tweets can include photographs, but photographs take up some of your characters
–Tweets should be original! People do not want to read that you “did math” each day. Instead, think about tweeting something you did that is specific. What did you do today that you did not do the day before! i.e. “We counted by 5’s to 100!.”

Ask students to brainstorm something interesting the class has done that day. Model writing several of their tweets on the board. Remind students of tweeting rules as you write them. Choose one tweet to type into the feed and post

Lesson 4: What is a Hashtag?

Review Lessons 1-3.

A hashtag looks like the number sign (draw on board.) Tweets can have hashtags before important words. Hashtags then make it possible to find out more about that word. By clicking on a word that is hashtagged, you are able to find other posts about that same word. Find a tweet with an interesting hashtag and click on hashtag. Show students how they can use hashtags to find more tweets and information.

Lesson 5: Using Hashtags

Review Lessons 1-5.

Ask students to brainstorm something interesting the class has done that day. Model writing several tweets on the board. Ask students to decide which 1-2 words they would like to hashtag. What words would other people be tweeting about? Remind students of tweeting rules as you write them.

Ready to Tweet!

Review these concepts as needed but be sure to tweet weekly, if not daily! Tweeting in your classroom will require your students to think about what they are doing and the learning that is taking place. It can be a reflective activity done at the end of the day or a lesson.

You might pass out exit slips at the end of a lesson and ask students to
write a tweet. You can choose one to tweet or you can simply use to check for understanding.

With AppleTV and iPads you can allow students to write their own tweets on your feed.

Twitter can be a resource to gain more information when learning about new topics and ties in with writers workshop, social studies, SEL and more!

Twitter can keep your classroom communicated with other classrooms across the world and in the district (penpals, anyone??)


-Kerri Lewis, Paddock Road