Word(le) clouds, Paint pictures

Wordle cloud, Paint fish

Here's one that came from one of the sessions on our CELTA course in the last week…

I suggested Ananova.com (specifically the bizarre news stories in its Quirkies section) as a great default home page for both teachers and learners, with the Dead angler becomes fish food story an example of a text you could do in class.

We then took the story — assuming that we'd already "done" the text in class — to Wordle.net and converted it into a cloud. By a bit of simple editing, first with Wordle, then with Paint (which we used to add an eye to create a word cloud fish), we've then converted the text into a picture which we could use to decorate a class blog.

As I suggested earlier, I still have my doubts about using Wordle as a classroom activity — principally because your learners will be manipulating the image, but not the words themselves: they want to be tinkering with the language not just looking at it, if we want people to learn language.

But as an "after reading" activity, to add some color to a class blog, to add some fun, you might still justify it…

And as one of you pointed out in at least one of the sessions this week, we might also possibly use the word cloud as either a prediction or a reconstruction activity…

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