I hope all of you are familiar with the FailBlog.org website. Fail Blog posts user submitted videos and photos of humans being, well, pretty stupid. Every time I see a “fail” photo I can’t help but to feel a little more intelligent than the poor souls who have, if only for a moment, failed at life. It’s become an internet phenomenon, even spawning the term “epic fail” and spin-off sites like UrPhoneIsFail (of which my boyfriend wrote an article for here, but that is beside the point) and EnglishFailBlog which has, unfortunately exceeded its bandwidth. You may, however, check out their Facebook photo page for an appetizer.
We’re just lowly humans, you know? We’re all bound to make mistakes and selfishly revel at others’ shortcomings. That’s why one or both of these options will work out amazingly: 1. Create a classroom blog that students have editing access to. Whenever they see what they believe to be a grammatical error on a sign or published item, they can snap a photo and throw it up on the blog. I think they’ll feel empowered to have found an error made by someone older and presumably more educated than them. 2. Create your own blog or VoiceThread show using photos that you have taken (or used with permission) that exhibit a grammatical error. Students can then be assigned to comment and decide what the error is and suggest a correction. This exercise will get them actively paying attention to grammar and its use. When they go outside of those big double doors and out into the world, they’ll be on guard for errors and also carrying learning outside of the school walls.
Below are a few links for your entertainment:
Unnecessary Quotes is a user submission-based “photo” blog.
Engrish Funny is another photo blog showing what happens when you trust Google Translate.
The Grammar Vandal is a fellow WordPress user documenting his battle against bad grammar in Boston.