Last month a coworker asked if I would be a guest presenter at her daughter’s school. Each child in this 3rd grade classroom had the opportunity to invite a guest. I accepted the invitation, met with her daughter and we planned a presentation of animoto and wordle. Two of my favorite tools.
We started with animoto. Due to CIPA I couldn’t allow this group of students to create their own animoto videos, so we decided to do a class video. I allowed my coworker’s daughter to choose the topic. She chose rain forests. I pulled up my schools.clipart.com account and typed rain forest into the search engine. The students then took turns selecting images from the hundreds available. I saved those images and we imported them into Animoto. The video was created while the students worked on their next project- Wordle.
Our next project was wordle. I have posted on wordle more than once. It is one of my favorite tools to use with students. They love using it, it is very simple and quick to explain, and they can customize to their hearts content. Since they were down to their last few days of school, I gave them the topic of summer. They creations they made were wonderful. For 30 minutes, you could have heard a pin drop.
This is the one thing I love about technology. Once the kids get into it, they become completely engaged. I would love to hear how you have used either (or both) of these tools in your classroom.
I first mentioned Wordle on this blog back in June. Mrs. Nicholson wrote to me this week and told me about how she used it in her classroom. I think this is a wonderful project, especially if you have a class that needs some self esteem work. The students each created a wordle answering “What words do you use to describe yourself?” Mrs. Nicholson used the wordles and pictures of the students to create this video using photostory.
I could see this same activity working well for a biography unit. Have the students research a person and write a description in Wordle, then pair it with a photo. Thanks to Mrs. Nicholson for sharing her wonderful idea!!
I’m not going to get into politics on here, but I thought this could be used in an educational way. I have posted about wordle before. It is a great program that will take a bunch of words- in this case McCain and Obama’s speeches- and create a visual. The top 125 words used in each speech are listed. The more often a word is used, the larger that word will be. I found it very interesting when looking at each candidate and the words they repeatedly used. This might be a great piece for middle or high school students (or anyone else) to discuss. If you would like for a larger version, I do have a large copy that I would be willing to email out, just leave a comment.
CoolCatTeacher posted this week about a neat site I hadn’t seen before,called Wordle. It will allow you to take either your delicious tags or any other text that you type or copy-paste in, and it will create a word cloud from the text. With the most frequently used words larger and lesser used words are smaller. I used my delicious tags and was presented with the picture at the right.
Could this be used with students? Actually I think it could have a few educational uses. They could copy-paste a story they had written, or a research paper. Are the words that emerge really the most important words? Does one word such as “and” appear huge while all other words are small? This could be a great visual for those kiddos who repeat the same words throughout their stories. On that research assignment that was supposed to be about Harriet Tubman- was the largest word the most appropriate? Do those words really describe her? The kids would have so much fun with this and I am sure there are many other uses.
Warning, this can become addictive!! Changing the color and having it reformat again and again to see the different shapes, using different text to see what comes out next…. I don’t want to see us have to start a wordles anonymous group!!