The Wordle Challenge

Paul at quoteflections tagged me on this one, and it has taken me a bit of time to get to it. I created the wordle last week hoping I would get to it – here it is:

The Blog Wordle
The Blog Wordle

I use Wordle in my classroom to help make abstractions more concrete.  My favorite way to do this is to ask my students to make a list of at least 10 images, ideas, themes, characters & symbols that are top of mind, right now, when they think about a text (novel, short story).  We then put them all in one long list and put the list of words (with its expected duplicate words) in a wordle and see what rises.

With Beloved

The last time I did this, a colleague was using the lab after our class, and the way she reacted to the students’ finished wordles was a little embarrassing for all concerned – she gushed about how beautiful they were, and the kids were embarrassed because for them it seemed like a fun, easy project – use the words, wordle, and your own own color/font/shape preferences to make the themes and ideas from Beloved emerge for you.  I was embarrassed by her effusiveness because it really was an exercise to help kids who are making steps every day up the abstraction ladder stay firmly on another, higher rung by reinforcing their ideas with a concrete visual not an exercise in creating something to hang on the bulletin board.  But of course, they were beautiful and hangable.

My Blog Wordle

My blog wordle reflects the focus on family and memory that I have had lately.  This is probably because of the convergence of two things in two different classes – the stories told in Beloved and the idea that there are some stories that you don’t hand down the generations with my memoir and autobiography class.  We have been unlocking stories, and those stories are finding their way here.

My principal wants me to write a piece for the Schools journal that we publish.  We have had a number of conversations this year about my advisees (all at MY request) over parental pressure and separation anxiety, binge drinking, cognitive challenges and building friendships, and asking parents to parent along with conversations about my switch to the upper school from the middle school and the knowledge that I bring about my students after having advised and taught them in seventh grade – and add to that the perspective that I bring as the mother of twin sixth  grade girls and a high school freshman.  He sees this all as a web of psychodynamic energy.  I see an enormous amount of pain.  Pain + thought and effort  = beauty.  I wish that it was as easy to create beauty out of words, connection and real anguish as  wordle can with words and abstraction.

So, to continue the meme:  I was tagged by Paul who was tagged by Andrea Hernandez.

1. Create a Wordle from your blog’s RSS feed.
2. Blog it and describe your reaction. Any surprises?
3. Tag several others to do the same.
4. Link back to the two taggers before.

I would like to tag  – Julie Squires and Antonio Viva (but it seems as though Antonio just wordled his blog, sigh).

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Paul C says:

    I like how you stimulate student interest by asking them first to list images, ideas, themes, etc. Often the list is a springboard for more vital writing. The real treat is then to see it in a Wordle and have others comment about how wonderful they are. Thanks for taking part.

  2. Kate Tabor says:

    @ Paul C
    Thanks for the push to do this. I should do it again in a month to see what I’m thinking about then.

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