Are you in search of a new way to use a reading in class? Sometimes it feels like our activities are getting stale and you just need a new way to approach things, or maybe you just need a new a low-energy idea for delivering some input to your students. Whatever the case, this is a nice easy option to throw into your rotation of reading activities!
You need a reading selection and a word cloud you have generated from it. There are tons of free word cloud generators on the internet, and some of them you can even put into fun shapes that might go with the main idea or setting of your story. This is fastest if it’s a story you can copy and paste into a word cloud generator, but if it’s a shorter reading selection, typing the whole thing into the generator isn’t the worst thing in the world.
If you wanted to, you could add some distractors in as you create the word cloud! Just add in a few words that AREN’T in the story. This will make it slightly more difficult for your students, and can also help you check that they are really listening, instead of just randomly crossing off words. Up to you!
Once you have your word cloud created, save the image. I put the image 4/paper to save copies and paper.
Students need a highlighter or marker and a copy of the word cloud.
Read and Highlight!
Give students the copy of the word cloud and have them take their highlighters out. Read the story for the students, or, if you have a file to play, play the audio clip. As students listen along, they read the words in the word cloud and highlight or mark each time they hear a word.
It also seems like many of the Fluency Matters novels also have audio or CD options that go with their books. Having an audio recording isn’t necessary to complete the activity, just a nice option! If you don’t have access to one, that’s just fine! Read the selection out loud for your students.
Wrap Up Writing Activity
After students have listened to the story and highlighted words on their cloud, have them use a different color or their pencil to circle five (or however many) words of their choosing from the word cloud. Then, have them take out a sheet of paper and write the five words they chose at the top.
Now, challenge them to come up with their own story! The catch? Somewhere, somehow, they have to include those five words in the story. The rest of it can be up to them!
If you would like, you can have them go back through their story and highlight where they included those five words to make it easy for you to visually scan and see how they included the words they chose.
Try it out!
As I mentioned above, I love doing this activity with some of the short stories from Spanish Cuento’s El ratón Pablito because he has a lot of videos on YouTube. The specific examples I share from this post can be found at the following links: