Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Wordle and Books = Groovy Stuff!

I love the idea of leaving kids with one "cool tool" each time they visit me. During my second session with the grade 3-5 students, I modified an idea I found on Chad Lehman's website using Wordle. In a nutshell, Wordle creates a word cloud out of the text your provide. The more frequently a word is used, the bigger it becomes in the cloud. We began our Wordle lesson by modeling the process, and I had kids quickly brainstorm reasons we love Thailand. Yes, the beaches truly are amazing here, but I did cheat a bit when we made this. When one kid said 'beach,' I asked who else liked the beach and then added a bunch more to give them the idea.We then broke into small groups and listed 6 favorite book titles or series, which I then input into the program to create our Wordle. (It is always cute to hear the 'oohs' and 'aahs' of kids viewing the Wordle). Going one step further, I talked about how our Wordle is actually providing us with data about our class as readers, and we tried to extract the data we could find.

I put them together in a Voicethreadand found myself very interested to see how readers matured greatly from grade 3 to grade 4. There was a leap from mostly predictable series in grade 3 to more individual, meatier books in grade 4. Diary of a Wimpy Kid was overall the most popular, and our friend Garfield was found to be king at all levels.


Vicki A. Davis said...

Tara, I just LOVE what you did here! You're using tools in ways that focus on the topic you are teaching not the tool but in ways that capitalize on the strengths of each. Way to go! This is gREAT! Love love love what you're doing here. Thank you so much!

Now, for the wordle on books, I wonder if there were a way to pull out some excerpt to paste it in wordle in a way that would give meaning to the book.

Mrs. Edwards said...

Love how you used both wordle and voicethread. Thanks for these great examples to share with others!

Becky Maher said...

Tara, I love this idea! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I have learned so much from you.

Tara said...

Thanks for all the blog love! The kids loved it as well. :)

Katie said...

I love this idea, too, Tara. Great way to collect and visualize the popularity of books.

It made me go back to a tool I'd bookmarked a little while ago -- Tagul.com -- which is like Wordle but you can put links behind each tag.

I had a play -- see here:

It shows how you might put a series homepage behind each book series. So when the kid clicks on Geronimo Stilton, it takes them to the Geronimo Stilton website (or to a list of Geronimo Stilton books in your OPAC perhaps).

I'll have to keep playing with Tagul when I have more time.

IMC Guy said...

Great job. Isn't it great when we can learn from each other?