Teachers Network
Translate Translate English to Chinese Translate English to French
  Translate English to German Translate English to Italian Translate English to Japan
  Translate English to Korean Russian Translate English to Spanish
Lesson Plan Search
Proud New Owners of teachnet.org... We're Very Flattered... But Please Stop Copying this Site. Thank You.
Our Lesson Plans
TeachNet Curriculum Units
Classroom Specials
Popular Teacher Designed Activities
TeachNet NYC Dirctory of Lesson Plans

VIDEOS FOR TEACHERS
RESOURCES
Teachers Network Leadership Institute
How-To Articles
Videos About Teaching
Effective Teachers Website
Lesson Plans
TeachNet Curriculum Units
Classroom Specials
Teacher Research
For NYC Teachers
For New Teachers
HOW-TO ARTICLES
TEACHER RESEARCH
LINKS

GRANT WINNERS
TeachNet Grant:
Lesson Plans
2010
TeachNet Grant Winners
2009
TeachNet Grant Winners
Adaptor Grant Winners
2008
TeachNet Grant Winners
Adaptor Grant Winners
2007
TeachNet Grant Winners
Adaptor Grant Winners
Other Grant Winners
Power-to-Learn
Math and Science Learning
Ready-Set-Tech
Impact II
Grant Resources
Grant How-To's
Free Resources for Teachers
ABOUT
Our Mission
Funders
   Pacesetters
   Benefactors
   Donors
   Sponsors
   Contributors
   Friends
Press
   Articles
   Press Releases
Awards
   Cine
   Silver Reel
   2002 Educational Publishers Award

Sitemap

WebMentors Teacher Helpline: NYC Helpline: How To: Incorporate Technology in the Classroom

Using Wordle™ as a Pre-Writing Tool
Pamela AuCoin

Inspired by Brent Sackris' article on Wordle, I decided to try it out in the classroom, to incorporate a pre-reading strategy.

Every year, my government students are assigned brief excerpts from Plato's The Republic. Like many primary source texts, it is challenging, and more than a few give up before really trying.  How can we make essential works like The Republic more accessible? I have found Wordle to be an excellent way for students to prepare. Ideally, you will have a smartboard and/or LCD projector, so the whole class can experience this cloud computing exercise. However, students could also work in pairs or individually on desktop or laptop computers.

Steps:

  1. Go to wordle.net
  2. Click "Create" to create your own word cloud.
  3. Copy and paste your text in the text box.*(See below for the original text used to create this word cloud).
  4. Click "Go" to create your word cloud
  5. By default, Wordle removes common English words, like "the." You may choose to click on the "Language" tab from the upper menu to include these words.

Here it is: a lovely word cloud created from the following text: "they are always fancying that by legislation they will make an end of frauds in contracts, and the other rascalities which I was mentioning, not knowing that they are in reality cutting off the heads of a hydra?" http://wordle.net/show/wrdl/1893983/Plato%3A_the_Legislative_Branch

From here, I have students identify words:

  1. First, they identify the words they can define;
  2. Next, they identify the words they cannot define. (You might choose to allow students to use dictionaries). 
  3. As a whole class, we share definitions of the words which were unclear.
  4. Then, students predict what the text will be about.

I was surprised at the accuracy of their predictions. Students had correctly guessed that the excerpt was about corruption within the government, so by the time they read the text, they already knew what the main ideas were. This is an empowering activity for students, since they are not only developing very high-level skills, but discover that literature need not be so intimidating. 

Do you have a comment or suggestion? E-mail Pamela

 

Come across an outdated link?
Please visit The Wayback Machine to find what you are looking for.

 

Journey Back to the Great Before