Our good friend Mrs Bell has written this blog post about the use of Wordle within education.
The use of ICT is an integral (and expected) part of many lessons nowadays. www.wordle.net can be used quickly and easily to support teaching and learning. I’ll describe some of my and my pupils’ favourite and most worthwhile uses of the site.
Getting children to recognise the difference between different types of words can be difficult and often the children find it tedious. You could make a Wordle with white writing and a black background. Children could then be asked to colour in the words, categorising them as they go. This example shows nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs. Push the pupils further by getting them to consider when words can fit into more than one category e.g. watch could be a noun or a verb.
Wordle can be used by pupils to support the editing of their own writing. When children have finished typing up their work, they can copy and paste it into Wordle (making sure that they click on “do not remove common words”). The larger the word, the more times it has been used. Discuss with the children the words they would expect to see most often e.g. the character’s name, pronouns etc. Are there any verbs or adjectives which have been used too frequently? If so, children could change a couple of these to make their work more varied.
Ask children to think of a character and type in as many words as they can think of to describe him/her (could also be used to gather ideas for story settings etc). Make this into a Wordle and show children which words are too commonly used. This can be used as the basis for a discussion about some of the lesser-typed words. It can also provide pupils with further suggestions of words they could use for character descriptions.
Present children with a Wordle of the maths unit’s key vocabulary, for example. Enlarge onto A3 and display on a working wall. It is a really simple but effective way of displaying vocabulary! Children could also have a smaller copy to stick in their book to support their quality talk.
I found an informal and formal version of the same letter. I inputted each separately to create two Wordles. The children were then able to compare the language in both – which words have no impact on the formality of a letter? Which words are important in creating a formal tone to your letter?
Type new vocabulary (in target language and English) into a Wordle. Children can try to match words, using their knowledge of cognates, pronunciation etc.
During a circle time, collect children’s ideas as to what qualities make a good friend. Type into a Wordle and then enlarge and display on the wall. This should then be referred to regularly e.g. has anyone shown you any of these qualities today?
Ask the children a question e.g. What is your favourite colour? Type responses into Wordle. What information can we tell just by looking at the Wordle? A similar idea could be used as a maths starter. Provide children with a selection of graphs (block out the x and y axes) and a selection of Wordles too. Can the children match the Wordle to the graph? Encourage the children to use the correct mathematical language as they discuss with their partner/group.
And there you have it, my favourite uses of Wordle (at the moment). There are unlimited possibilities. I hope that you have found this useful!