In fact, school SHOULD be fun. You see, that makes kids like it. And when they like it, they are more likely to do their best. And when they do their best…you see where this is going.
One site that can be lots of fun is Wordle. At Wordle, you can type or past in any text and it will make a word cloud out of it. You can also make a word cloud for any site that has an RSS feed. Like, perhaps, the one you’re reading right now. Here’s what the Engaging Educators Wordle looks like:
Wordle certainly has educational uses. We’ll definitely blog about that in the near future. But one of the best things about it is that it’s fun. It’s visually appealing. Kids get to select the color scheme, font, arrangement, and more.
In my classroom Friday, we needed to make signs to hang around the school in celebration of National Poetry Month. Students were given three choices: make a Wordle using poets’ names, make a Wordle using titles of poems we’ve read, or make a Wordle out of an entire poem. Then I hit a home run when it comes to excitement…I told them we would print them in color. For the next 45 minutes they worked diligently to craft the perfect Wordles. When they finished one, they begged to make another. “Why not?” was my only reply.
Did they learn a lot? Probably not. Were any state standards targeted? Nope. But they had fun at school. And got a chance to talk to each other and discuss their word clouds–a lot of quotes like “what do you think of this?” and “hey, check this one out” and “Wow, that’s sweet” were overheard. And they made some pretty awesome signs that will catch people’s attention. Here’s a sampling: