WEC Technology Lesson:
“Things We Love” Word Clouds
In time for Valentine’s Day, engage your students in the language lab by creating “word clouds” (pictured above) on the theme of “Things We Love.” Encourage students to post their clouds to the WEC Facebook page, or poll your students to create a word cloud representative of the whole class to post on social media!
Time. 1 hour in the language lab.
Objectives. Students will be able to:
- Identify the difference in meaning between like and love.
- Write sentences at their ability level describing things they like and love.
- Generate and edit their own word cloud.
- Compare the differences and similarities between what their classmates like and love.
· As a class, brainstorm with students things that they like and love. Keep a running list on the board (later this will help you create a word cloud representative of the entire class).
· For more advanced students, you can ask: What’s the difference in English between “like” and “love”? How do English speakers use “love” for more than just romantic feelings?
|15 minutes||Independent Practice
· In a Word document, students start writing sentences of things they love. At the lower levels, students can write short sentences or even just lists of things they love/like. Since the word cloud is generated based on word frequency, the sentences do not have to be complete. At a more advanced level, students can write full sentences that include why they like/love those things.
· *Best practice: students should not write their word cloud sentences directly on the word cloud website. Once they generate the cloud, their original sentences will be lost, which makes it impossible to go back and modify the text for typos or content. By typing their sentences in Word, students can copy/paste the text onto the site and made edits as necessary.
|15 minutes||Design your own Word Cloud
· Once students have their text, they copy (control + c) and paste (control + v) it into the word cloud app. I recommend using http://www.abcya.com/search.htm?text=cloud. Teachers can demonstrate how to do this using the list that the class brainstormed earlier in the lesson.
· Teachers can also demonstrate how to personalize the color, font, and orientation of the cloud. For more advanced students, the teachers can explain that the computer program uses the frequency of use of the words to determine the size of the words. Students can trick the word cloud generator to make words bigger by typing a word multiple times (like “soccer soccer soccer”) into the site.
· *Note: the most popular word cloud site is Wordle. However, you need Java to run Wordle, and neither the iPads nor the Language Lab computers have Java. For a list of alternate word cloud sites that will work in the language lab, see: http://www.edudemic.com/9-word-cloud-generators-that-arent-wordle/
|15 minutes||Gallery Walk
· Once all of the students have a word cloud displaying, the class can circulate to view the clouds of their colleagues.
· Questions for discussion:
· What things do most classmates like?
· What are the differences in what people in this class like?
· How can you use word clouds as a study tool or vocabulary builder?
|5 minutes||Posting your cloud
· After your class brainstorms the list of things they like, create a word cloud representative of the class. You can save your word cloud as a JPEG on the desktop of the computer. Then email it as an attachment to Lee (email@example.com) for posting on the WEC Facebook page!