Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Wordle

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I absolutely LOVE this project with my students.  They have so much fun while secretly still LEARNING (shhhh...don't tell them!)  We do a Christmas wordle to focus on good word choice and using adjectives and our senses in our writing.  This is a way for them to practice those skills!  They look absolutely AWESOME in the hallway as a display as well.  This is my second year doing this project and every one of my students were able to play with the more "advanced" settings in Wordle.  Here is our Writers Workshop lesson for this activity along with the Graphic Organizer they use to prepare for their Wordle!

NOTE:  We actually taught our students this year how to take a screen shot of their wordle and save it on their desktop.  They then dropped it into a Group Shared folder so I could print them in color at a later time!  ALL of my students can tell you the shortcut for Copy, Paste, Select All, and Save by now!  I can't believe how advanced they are for 2nd grade!  I was VERY proud of them!  It was a LOT of typing, but they persevered through it and felt proud when they were done.  
 Aren't they soooo cool!

In order to do more advanced actions with the student's wordles, follow these directions:

Custom Colors:  In your "Create" Screen, you need to go to the "Color" menu bar and click on "Edit Custom Palette."  While you are in there, you can click on one of the four boxes.  When you click on a new color, it will assign that to your Wordle!  You can choose any 4 colors that you wish!  Also, this is where you can assign your background color.  I do not let my students have a black background because we like to conserve ink!  They have to keep the very first box WHITE!

Custom Font-(CAUTION-There is a font with an inappropriate name)  Students can go in here and choose a font they wish to use if they just click on the "Font" menu bar.  NOTE:  By selecting a new font, it will change the layout and some of the words may have a different one of the 4 colors you previously selected.  In my wordle, I used the Grilled Cheese font!

Custom Layout:  I really like all my words going the same way (a little anal retentive, I know!)  My students had various different layouts.  I let them choose whichever layout they liked.

If your student isn't ready to work at the advanced level, just have them choose the "Randomize" button at the bottom of the wordle (make sure you change the background to white for them!)  Once a student clicks off of a layout choice, they CAN NOT get it back, so if they find one they like, then need to keep it!

After this Wordle, we did another one for our parent gift.  They were a PRO by now!  They entered their family name and all the members of their family.  It took far less time to create this wordle than the first one!  They are experts now.

Other fun uses for Wordles:
·       Guided Reading-you can enter the Title, Author, Illustrator, key vocabulary, characters, setting, important events, etc!
·       Vocabulary Review-All Subject areas
·       School Spirit
·       Soooo many possibilities!
Leave a Comment with your ideas!


  1. Jodi, I am going to do this next week with my students! I love this! Gracias Amiga!

  2. You are most welcome! Let me know. The hardest part is all the typing, hence the reason we taught copy and paste :o)

  3. That is great! What a nice activity using technology. I've seen those wordle's before but never thought to use them in the class. I think I will do that as a writing activity for the 1st week back in January and the theme will be Winter.
    (PS got your blog link from!)

  4. I thinking of using your idea later in the year for a Mother's Day project.... It would go great with a picture of the mother/child together!

    Thanks for the idea!!

  5. What a wonderful idea --
    I host a daily site -- and would love to share out your idea -- giving your full credit!!!
    What a great great idea.