Wordle, Craeza & Story Jumper

Planning a lesson for Wordle was pretty straightforward: Wordle has so many uses in the classroom. Originally, when searching for the “hook” of my lesson, I searched YouTube videos for Wordle.  Most were bland instructional videos that would not be the interest-grabbing hook that I was searching for in my lesson.  However, one video did have an interesting idea of what you could do with your students’ Wordles.  The technology teacher appliquéd a Wordle her class had made to the walls of her computer lab.  It wasn’t just a print and duck tape job; it was a professionally-made appliqué that appeared to be painted onto her wall.  That sense of permanence can inspire students.

My lesson with Wordle involved a brainstorming activity.  Students start off by responding to any predetermined journal prompt and two volunteers send their paragraphs into the program to create their own Wordles.  Inspired by their classmates’ examples (and with much further instruction through a specific rubric handed out by their teacher), students use Wordle as a means of brainstorming main concepts and vivid details for their multi-paragraph essay.  Using a simple computer program to brainstorm, and by having the power to choose your own colors and design, students will respond much better to this rich, complex format than a simple college-ruled piece of paper.

The second mini-project we were assigned to have completed was a digital story.  Over the summer, I had taken a class on literacy and language development that also required us to create a digital story.  This digital story, however, had more specific requirements and I chose to use Creaza.  We discussed a lot of positive uses of comic books and graphic novels in the classroom.  There is a good deal of educational comic books and graphic novels that exist and the goal was to create our own.  Here is my version of a graphic novel revolving around the teenage popular superstars Katy Perry and Justin Bieber.  We converted a scientific article into a more fun version through a graphic novel.

For this assignment, I wanted my digital story to revolve more around the text than the animated characters.  Therefore, I used Story Jumper, which is a very user-friendly website whose ultimate goal is that you pay for a printed version of your digital story.  For these purposes, I just needed to have access to the digital copy.  I created an Amelia Bedelia-inspired story about a teacher who visits Papua New Guinea for the first time.  I made sure to use the Six Elements of  Good Digital Story, written by Bernajean Porter.

Whenever I complete my assignments for class, I jump back and forth between my Twitter feed for inspiration.  Today, I hit upon the website xeeme.com on one of my follower’s advertised headings.  This website could be very useful for this class; it has a simple, attractive format that incorporates every website that you are willing to include on your profile (i.e., Facebook username, Twitter username, LinkedIn profile, Klout profile, etc.).  I plan on creating one of these websites so that I can post this aggregated profile on my Professional Web Portfolio.

 References

Porter, B. (2004). Take six: Elements of a good digital story. Retrieved on October 21, 2012 from: http://digitalstorytelling.iste.wikispaces.net/file/view/Take+Six+Elements.pdf

2 responses to “Wordle, Craeza & Story Jumper

  1. Samantha,

    I had used a program like Wordle when I was in high school, which probably helped me with visualizing the hook, etc. (although it is harder to find a hook for a program that could essentially be a hook itself). I just found a great Wordle on a blog I read and wanted to share it: http://bit.ly/Xx6uEi. Edudemic does a great job of grabbing the reader’s attention with this cloud (I believe it was Wordle, although it does not say).

  2. Samantha Brinkmann

    Anne,

    I enjoyed reading what you wrote about Wordle. You’re right- it is a straight forward program. At the same time, however, I found myself struggling with it. I was not understanding how to “hook” your students in on that type of program, so my struggle stemmed from my lack of direction with the program. After reading your ideas, though, I understand it much better! Thanks. I think that is a great and simple tool to use in the classroom when used correctly. Otherwise, I can see it being ineffective and forgettable.

    Samantha