In my grade 10 English class, we have been working on getting the students to write for a directed audience. To do this they have made their own blogs. Some of them have put quite a bit of effort into this. If you really want to make a student's day, drop by their sites and drop them a quick comment. They have been hard at it generating posts on various short stories to elicit comments.
I'll even let you know how excited they get about receiving a positive comment from someone they have never met, epsecially if it happens to be from someone more qualified to teach english than a physics major like myself.