Next step – wordle

I’m taking the next step in my adult life this weekend, July 26th, 2008. I’ll be marrying my best friend Mike Lux. We’ve been together for over 4 years, and have already had some great experiences together, but we’re looking forward to a lifetime of memories as we embark on married life. 

I’m still thinking about school and being a teacher, primarily as a distraction from the nerves. Kim Jasper posted this website to the list: http://wordle.net. I decided to try and make my own right away, and did so using words that are on my mind about the wedding.

Wordle gives the html to paste your wordle into your blog, but I couldn’t get it to work. Nonetheless, here is the link to my wordle.  

English teacher blogger Carla Beard also shared some great ideas for how to incorporate wordle into almost everyday life with some very creative wordles. See her blog for more ideas on wordle.

I’ve had a few ideas for how wordle can be integrated into the classroom. One is as part of a poetry unit. At the end of this past year when I had to do a poetry unit with my 10th graders, I set it up as a portfolio assessment. We read some poems but we wrote a lot of poems. Students then chose from their pile of poems three that they were going to spend more time on and turn in as their “best” work. We tried a lot of fun poems, and I can see wordle being used as a way to write some themed, fun poems. You can ask wordle to randomize the words or keep them in the same order – a great technique for a found or headline poem.

A second idea is to use wordle as a prewriting strategy during the writing process. I teach a lower-level writing class, and can see generating wordles as a great way to get students talking about topics for a paper. It’s interactive, colorful, and turns out looking pretty neat and can serve as a discussion point between students or a way to “borrow” ideas from each other if they post their wordle into a public space like their blog.

A third idea I had for using wordle is as a pre or post reading strategy. A teacher could generate key words from a text as a preview for what’s to come, which gets students’ minds on the same playing field for determining importance while reading. As a post reading activity, students could create their own wordles with key words and connections that they see between the text and their lives. Students could then discuss the commonalities or differences between their wordles, and argue for why they chose the words they did.

Overall, I like this tool as a way to quickly and easily integrate a fun teaching strategy that students should hopefully enjoy as well. I love adding visual aids to the classroom, with color, words, images, etc., so this is right up my alley 🙂