For this, you will need to create a word cloud of vocabulary words which you want to review. I have found that 25 words is a good amount. Unfortunately, finding a website/extension for the creation of word clouds has been difficult, because many websites like Wordle do not work on Chrome or are not compatible with Windows 10. I use a MS Word extension to create my word clouds. Google Docs also has an extension for word clouds, but I have found that MS Word has more capabilities.
Below is a video for creating a word cloud on MS Word.
In creating a MS word cloud for this activity, I use the following settings:
- Font: Arial
- Colors: Black on White
- Layout: Half on Half (this will allow for words to be both horizontal and vertical)
- Case: Intelligent
Here is a MS word cloud which I made for my Latin 2 students
- Pair up students.
- You can have students either sit next to each other or across from each other.
- Students will need a common surface between them. It can be a desk, or if your class is deskless like mine, then I had students sit on the floor with a whiteboard between them.
- Each student in a pair needs to have a different-colored highlighter, i.e., no two students who are paired up can have the same color highlighter.
- Give each student a handout of the word cloud.
- There will be two different rounds of play, so have each pair of students use only one of the word clouds for the first round.
- Have each pair place the word cloud between them, and give students roughly 30-45 seconds to look at the words in order to familiarize themselves with both the words and the layout.
- You as the teacher call out a definition in English.
- The goal for each student is to be the first person to highlight the correct word.
- After about 9-10 words, now tell students that they have to use their NON-DOMINANT hands to highlight the correct word. Do this for about 9-10 words.
- After most of the words have been called, have students count how many words they each got correct. They will know based on the color of their highlighter.
- To start the second round, students will now use the other word cloud.
- Tell students that they need to put this word cloud in a new orientation, i.e., if it was laid out horizontal before, now it needs to be vertical. This makes the second round more challenging, since although students know what words to expect, the words are in a "different place," since the orientation is different.
- Repeat steps 8-10 again.
- When finished, have students create their final totals for both rounds.
- As I said, this is a fast, quick activity. It lasts about 10 minutes.
- Depending on your students, it can get VERY competitive.
- I have a tub of different-colored highlighters in the event that students have the same color or do not have a highlighter. I suppose one can use markers for this activity.
- Having students use their non-dominant hand for part of it adds to the novelty of the activity.
- Variation: Because vocabulary does not exist in a language isolated outside of a context, you can make a word cloud out of phrases in the target language. I know that Wordle will allow you to do this.
- It is not really a CI activity, but it is definitely fun to watch!