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Lesson Plan

The Blog of Anne Frank?: Taking on Social Roles through Online Writing

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The Blog of Anne Frank?: Taking on Social Roles through Online Writing

Grades 7 – 10
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Four 50-minute sessions, with additional sessions for updating content and responding the classmates’ blogs
Lesson Author

Scott Filkins

Scott Filkins

Champaign, Illinois


National Council of Teachers of English



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From Theory to Practice



After reading or viewing The Diary of Anne Frank, students will consider how political news spread in the time of World War 2. Then, they investigate how online digital media contributes to the distribution of news in recent events such as the Iranian revolution in 2009. This background will contribute to their design and development of a blog on the school or local political topic of their choice.

This lesson was adapted from The Diary of Anne Frank Teacher's Guide, published by WGBH Educational Foundation, (c)2010. The Diary of Anne Frank is available on PBS's MASTERPIECE. Go here for more information.

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Genre study is a natural instructional focus for a work such as The Diary of Anne Frank. Anne Frank wrote a diary, taking on the relatively private role of “diarist” until the book was published (and there is considerable evidence suggesting she did, in fact, mean for it to be published eventually). Note that the online Teacher’s Guide for the 2009 Masterpiece film adaptation points out that “the diary is often taught either as a historical document or as a literary work, [but] this guide encourages students to look at it as both,” making Frank into an author and historian as well (3).

Similarly, students can take on the dual roles of “learner” and “activist” by designing and writing for a blog that explores a school or community political issue. Deborah Dean explains that “genres position participants, creating social roles for them” (12). Students will consider how the genre and digital affordances of a blog allow them to participate in public conversation on a topic that matters to them in a way that is very different than could have happened in the 1940s.

Further Reading

Teacher’s Guide for the 2009 Masterpiece film adaptation

Dean, Deborah. Genre Theory: Teaching, Writing, and Being. Urbana, IL: NCTE, 2008.

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