Irish Folk Song Word Clouds
I have a friend who is an Irish musician. I began by showing my students a video of a private performance he did last summer. We talked about the style of music and how is relates to other types of music. My students were motivated to learn more.
2 Direct Instruction
I reviewed with the students our previous lessons on internet searches. I modeled the search for lyrics to an Irish folk song.
I shared this online tutorial for Tagxedo.
I showed my students a sample word cloud I created and printed. Next, I introduced my students to keyboard shortcuts for cut and paste. Then, I modeled the process of using the Tagxedo website for my students on the SMARTboard.
3 Guided Practice
After viewing the tutorial, students worked together on the computers to practice using the website. The teacher curculated around the room to check for understanding as students work. It was easy to see that students who had not changed the shape of their word cloud needed assistance. Students were able to work together or to ask the teacher for assistance.
4 Independent Practice
Working in pairs, students used a Google Drive spreadsheet to sign up on a list of Irish folk songs. Students were responsible for creating a word cloud to match the song that they signed up for using Google Drive. Students were unable to create the cloud without knowledge of the keyboard shortcuts. Completed word clouds were reviewed with the teacher. Students were asked to explain why they chose the design/colors/etc to match the song before printing the finished product.
As an extension activity, students posted their finished word clouds on our class Padlet gallery. The collaborative board is a way for students to share their best work with those outside our classroom.