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Using Word Clouds to Enhance Your Reading Instruction

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Learn how to use word clouds to teach prediction and comprehension in reading. I love making Wordles as much as my students!  Whenever we have free time in the computer lab, the students are always eager to create one on new topics.  Because they are really intrigued by them, I try to incorporate it into my instruction as much as I can.

First, let me explain a little about what a Wordle is.  A Wordle is a Web 2.0 tool that creates text into word clouds.  It takes the most used words and makes them bigger than words used less often.  My students made one on the first week of school with characteristics that describe them.  They typed specific qualities more often if they thought it applied to them more than others.  We used this as the cover of our binders for our portfolio conferences that will be coming up in about a month.

Today, in reading, I used a Wordle to introduce the story that we will read this week.  To prepare, I sat down and typed the whole story, Aero and Officer Mike.  Yes.  I actually typed it all.  🙂  After typing it, I chose a layout that was appealing and printed it out.  I double-sided it with a prediction worksheet that the students were to fill out later.

Before we read the story, and even before I told them what we were reading, I asked them to take a look at the Wordle.  We did a quick refresher as why some words are bigger than others.  The students had time to read as many words as they could.  After reading the Wordle, the students were to complete the other side of the paper.  First, they had to guess who the main characters were in the story.  Then, they wrote down words they thought were significant.  The last question asked them to make a prediction as to what they thought the story would be about.  After circulating the classroom, and having some students share, many of the students made very accurate predictions.

The class was eager to read the text to see if their prediction was correct.  Many of the students were so excited when they read something they predicted!  When we finished the story, I had the class answer the fourth question on the worksheet and decide whether or not their prediction was correct.

How do you use Wordle in your classroom?

Melissa Mazur

Melissa Mazur

My name is Melissa and I am an educator, blogger, and curriculum designer.
I’m here to help offer you teaching tips and low-prep resources to help take some of the burdens off you so you can do what you do best – teach!

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learning lab resources- about

Oh hey there!

My name is Melissa and I am an educator, blogger, and curriculum designer.
I’m here to help offer you teaching tips and low-prep resources to help take some of the burdens off you so you can do what you do best – teach!  

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