Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Wordle in 6th Grade Humanitites

In our middle school we have a Humanities class (SS and LA combined) at each grade. These teachers are doing some really fabulous projects. One of the ones is the use of Wordle to help students explain the 6 Big Ideas of History - Science and Technology, Government, Culture, Geography, Belief Systems, and Economics. The products completed by the students were printed and put on a bulletin board and will be used throughout the year for them to reference as they study any event in history.
The Process:
Students had to brainstorm 20 different terms/keywords that were associated with their Idea. They then prioritized those ideas by which were the most important in describing their Idea. Next, the students typed their keywords into Word (spellchecking was needed) - they would type the most important terms multiple times (Wordle uses the frequency of a word to determine it's size in the final presentation), so "ScienceandTechnology" (all one word) was typed 5 times while a lesser term to describe it say "computers" was only typed 3 times. Each word needed to be separated with a space. The students then copied and pasted their text into Wordle and adjusted the design/colors to suit their tastes and then published their work! We were able to print them off and the students also pasted the url of their published work into their class forum so that everyone could see and comment on them.

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