By Teachers, For Teachers
Wordle is my go-to resource for when I need to show the power of words. If you provide text or a website, Wordle automatically converts your copy into a word cloud that you can then customize.
At a recent workshop, I was showing some teachers what a Wordle was. I used one I created from my blog as an example.
We talked a little about how easy the program was to use (for teachers and students) and how they would explain what the image showed when they created some with their kids. But there was one question that caught me a little off guard. Why would I use this in my class?
I tried to give the teacher as many examples as I could (summarizing text, survey results, etc) but she still couldn't wrap her mind around it. I wanted to hear from other classroom teachers and have them tell me what they used it for, in the hopes that not only this teacher would understand but I would have an amazing list the next time I talk about Wordle. (And so would you!)
Why Use Wordle
I did what any good educator does; I turned to my PLN on Twitter . I sent out a tweet: If you had to explain to someone why you use Wordle, what would you say? Use the hashtag #whywordle Thanks!
Within a matter of moments I had several great responses:
But there were two that were really stuck out:
That is so cool! Use Wordle to introduce students to a topic. So here is what you do.
How to Use Wordle
Let’s say I am going to teach a lesson on the U.S. Constitution. I am going to gather all the text that I am using for my lesson, enter it into Wordle. It will automatically create this visual image using the words.
To start my lesson, I would show my students this:
Then as a class, we would talk about the larger words (the words that appear most often in the text) and the not-so-large words (the words that do not appear as much).
The possibilities are endless really. There is a really great presentation from the Ideas To Inspire website; 47 Interesting Ways To Use Wordle, that gives some more great examples.
Jen Wagner (@jenwagner) created a really cool site called Guess The Wordle. Each day she posts a Wordle and student (or classes) can guess what topic they think the wordle is related to. They get progressively harder throughout the week. What a great idea as a way to start the day off each morning!
How would you answer my teacher's question? What ways do you use Wordle in your classroom, or what ways have you seen others use it?Share in the comments section!