This independent reading project pairs students up to read and debate two books - preferably with common thematic material - online in a blog that can be shared with the teacher, class peers, and the wider community. This project offers a great deal of student choice - students can select texts appropriate to current class unit topics and themes, as well as their own individual reading skill levels. Students also have a great deal of choice in formatting and personalizing their debate blogs, selecting themes to focus on in their discussion, and how widely they wish to share their work in the community.
The assignment handout provides detailed guidance for students, ensuring structure and focus in their debate, appropriate writing styles, and an equal workload. It also provides helpful scoring guidelines for teachers, including a detailed scoring rubric that can be shared with students electronically or in print.
This project can be tailored to fit any class reading list, or to focus on any genre of literature. It can also adapt to address specific literary, analytic or other writing skills as needed. This is a great tool for exposing students to a broad range of literary texts at any high school grade level, and would also work well for homeschooled students, who can collaborate remotely with other peers to complete the project.