Word Clouds have been around for years. I have seen these visualizations used in various ways and enjoyed them but never applied the idea seriously to classroom use until this week.
I am working with my students to reduce the amount of passive verbs they use. Despite my modeling, sharing exemplars, and practice, “is” and “was” are their “go to” verbs. So when I gave feedback for the latest assignment I wondered if a picture really is worth a thousand words. I created word clouds for each student’s work using ABCYA Word Clouds for Kids. I chose this tool because it allows you to include common words.
Later as I was preparing the quickwrite for tomorrow I reflected on the question: Someone chose to call the book “Night.” Why do you think this name was selected? Please think first, go back to the book and look for text evidence, and then explain. Look beyond the obvious.
How can I get students to go beyond the obvious? Could word clouds of the text of the book help students? I was lucky to find a .pdf file of the book and then chose Tagxedo to create the word cloud as it was able to handle the large amount of text.
The feedback has not been seen nor the quickwrite written but I am curious as to whether the addition of these visualization aids will demonstrate my expectations.
A final note: Looking at a word cloud of this post, I noticed some revision of word choice needed on my part.