Using Word Clouds to Teach Sentence Fluency
My students created short, personal narratives, writing about a memorable time they shared with a special adult. When finished, I asked them to circle the first word of each sentence. Next, I typed these words into Tagxedo. (You could also use Wordle.) After changing a few of the settings, I was able to create a word cloud that displayed the students' words, with the most frequenly used words showing up the largest, and so on...Taking the 5 largets words, we then created a bar graph to display how many times we used those 5 words. The kids were amazed to see that we had used the word I twenty-six times to start our sentences. I used this activity to transition into the importance of varying our sentence beginnings. Tomorrow I am planning to read the book Owl Moon, which is a great book to analyze for sentence fluency. Here's a great lesson, taken from Writing Fix, where I took a lot of my ideas for this particular activity, and many others!!
I'm trying to come up with other ways to use word clouds in the classroom.I was thinking of having students upload some of their poetry, maybe shape poems. Has anyone ever used one of these sites for teaching writing in your classroom?