A while back, I discovered a really great site: Wordle. I have since mentioned it a couple of times on the blog.
Since discovering it, I’ve been trying to find ways to introduce it into the classroom, and have had trouble finding uses that truly enhance learning. Probably the best strategy is to paste the text of a story we read in class into Wordle and using it to preview the story. This has really helped to pull out the key words, which is particularly useful when the story has unfamiliar terms. For example, in the Wordle above (from Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado”), key terms like amontillado, catacombs, flambeaux, recess, and nitre pop up. This tells the students that the word is going to be frequently encountered, so they ask what it means. This way, when we actually get into the story they (hopefully) know what the word means.
Apart from this idea, however, I’ve struggled to find ways to use Wordle in my 9th grade English classroom. As always, I pose you that question: how do you use Wordle in your classes?