Type of technology: Online
SAMR Model Rating: Substitution
Grade level: Any
Subject area: All
What’s a Wordle? It’s words. It’s like a puzzle.
Want a fun way to get students excited about a pre-reading activity that includes researching a topic? Looking for something that encourages divergent thinking and allows students to be creative?
WORDLE.net is the answer.
My students are preparing to read Kate Chopin’s The Awakening. When I told them it was published in 1899, they groaned. When I explained that it was about a woman who is trying to find herself, they groaned even louder. OK, so I how do I get them interested in a book that they’re groaning about before even reading the first page? I incorporate WORDLE, a free tool that allows them to learn and be creative at the same time.
I typed up words and phrases associated with the book. For example: Cajun culture, Creole culture, New Orleans jazz, expectations of women in the early 1900s, etc. Basically, background knowledge that they need to help them understand the book.
I cut the words and phrases up into separate slips of paper and I had them randomly choose a slip of paper. I didn’t tell them what they were doing with the paper, so there was an instant buzz in the room. “Is this a fortune from a cookie?” one girl asked.
I then gave them their instructions: at the computer lab, do some research on the topic, then gather 25 words to describe/enhance/explain the word/phrase. (I chose a random number of words-you can choose whatever number you want). Once the words are gathered, log on to Wordle.net.
The screen opens and the words are typed into the box. Then hit the “Go” button, and the words are made into a word cloud. Students can then change the font, change the color, and change the way the words appear.
The students will then share their Wordles with others, who take notes, so everyone is learning the background for the novel. The Wordles will then go on the wall.
The students were creative. They learned. No groaning. Win-win.