What is the educational value for completing word puzzles?
This is a great question, that has been debated by many educators.
Working with spelling words and new vocabulary, seems like a justifiable use for using word puzzles. However; when created by the teacher, the students require no creative thinking and often lack the comprehension and connection to the new vocabulary. Sort of a worksheet in a different form. So how do we “up” the value? This value increases when you have them create their own word puzzles.
On the Discovery Education Site students can create
Word Search with Hidden Message
All which link vocabulary to meaning.
After students have created their word puzzle, on the iPad hold finger on the image and download into photos. In Photos share or upload the image into Notability and have students compete.
On macbook, right click on image and save. Share via email or google drive then download image and add image to a notebook file and use pens to complete.
Much to the surprise of my colleagues, I find it so easy to get kids to enjoy, explore and critique poetry. Giving students opportunities to explore a variety of poems, with very little guidance, and a whole lot of sharing, opens up discussions about poetic devices, themes, and messages in poetry. As students are exposed to these samples, they are more prepared and excited about writing and creating their own poems.
Here are few activities I have done with my students.
Find poems that do not mention the subject in the piece
Remove the title
Ask students pairs/groups to read poem
Have the groups decide on a title, and explain their decision based on quotes from poem
Share as a class suggested titles
Discuss as class why and why not each title works
Finally share the Poet’s Title
Have students discuss/write about their agree/disagreement with the poet’s title
As teachers we sometimes forget that students often do not understand what we mean when we ask them to edit. It is interesting when you ask them, their responses are often all related to fixing spelling and punctuation. They seem focused on editing for Conventions. Students have to be shown how to edit for Meaning, Style and Form. They also need to be shown how to use spell check.
Word Clouds have been out there for several years. Students input text into generator and then create a visual cloud of their words. The larger the text, the more it is used in the document. Get your students to use them creatively in the classroom!
Here are several ways:
Create a Concrete Poem
Narrow ideas into keywords
Highlight the important concepts/ideas in a piece of their own writing
Most important points/facts about a fiction or nonfiction piece