How I Use Instagram, Twitter & Snapchat to Turn My Students Into Readers

Meet them where they are.

Best Social Media Activities for ELA

Authentically engaging students in literacy activities is tough these days. Many kids would rather surf social media than read a book. But what if you could use social media applications to lure your students into reading and writing? Read on for some practical ideas to use social media activities for ELA.

1. Create an Instagram account to book talk digitally.

This application works really well to social media-fy book talking. Once you’ve created a classroom account, get your students to follow you. Then, start posting book titles available in your classroom or school library. Take pictures of the text cover or video yourself reading a selection. You can also add hashtags and text to explain a bit about the text. Best of all, you can book talk from anywhere, and your students can access your book talks anytime. Check out a pic of my Instagram feed below.

4 Ways to Use Social Media For Student Engagment


2. Use Twitter for chapter summaries or book reviews.

Spice up your chapter summaries or book reviews by challenging your students to tweet them to you. Not only will it engage them in higher level thinking strategies to select only key information, but it will also create a fun activity they can relate to. Again, you’ll need to create your own classroom Twitter account so that students can tag you on their posts.


3. Play with Snapchat as an entry or exit card when studying literary terms.


Teaching and assessing students’ knowledge of literary terms can be a bore, but when you ask them for a Snapchat video of their literary term definitions and examples they’ll see it in a whole new light. To make it even more fun, ask them to make their videos in small groups and encourage them to add accents, funny costumes or scenarios.


4. Have your students write fake news articles to share.

Teaching students about fake news has become an essential literacy skill. Why not teach them about how easy it is to spread fake news by studying the genre then writing their own fake news articles? Using a program such as WordPress for writing will give students’ articles a professional look. It’s best that teachers create a WordPress site for their class, then upload individual student articles. Students can then share their article on Facebook. WordPress will track how many times their articles are read, as well as what countries they’ve travelled to. Creating a fake news contest is also highly engaging for students; offer the top three fake news stories prizes! One of the fake news WordPress sites my students populated last school year is Sneak a peak for a good laugh and inspiration for your own ‘fake news’ unit.

The activities shared here are really only the tip of the iceberg. Using social media in literacy activities is a natural fit. After all, their purpose is communication! 

What are your favorite social media activities for ELA? We’d love to hear in the comments.