My friend Meg over at The Teacher Studio hosts this awesome linky each month. I always find such amazing ideas from other fantastic teacher bloggers. This month I decided to do a bit of a throw back and write about a lesson from last year. (You can read more about how I used the novel Wonder HERE.) I love the novel Wonder by R.J. Palacio. Last year I wrote a blog post about all the fantastic things we did before, during and after reading the novel. One of my favourite projects was making "Character Trait Images" using Tagxedo.
You've never heard of Tagxedo? I love this program. It allows you to make sophisticated word clouds via the Internet. Using Tagxedo is super easy. Want something to use with your students? You can find an easy to follow tutorial in PDF HERE.
Go to the Tagxedo homepage and click on CREATE.
You will see a page that looks like the one above.
Click on LOAD. Here you (or your students) will add text. For our Wonder assignment, the students brainstormed character traits about each of the characters in the novel.
Next, click on SHAPE. You can choose from a variety of shapes which are pre-made OR you can click on ADD IMAGE. This is how my students were able to create the Character Trait images from the novel. The students created sketches of the characters from the novel. I uploaded them to a site on our school server so the students could access them easily. They were able to upload the images to Tagxedo and create custom word clouds.
Finally you can change aspects of your image by clicking on color, theme, font, orientation, or layout. Students were encouraged to experiment and choose designs they found visually appealing.
Next you can save your images as JPGs or PNGs. I had the students create a folder and download all of their individual images. I then taught them how to use the on line photo editor Picasa.
We downloaded the program to our computers at school and showed students how to create collages using their Tagxedo images.
Below you can see some finished student work. I was really proud of how well my students persevered to complete this assignment. I think their Tagxedo collages turned out brilliantly don't you?
If you are reading the novel Wonder with your class, or if you would just like a great FREEBIE...click on the image below to download the bookmark I made for my students. I printed them on card stock, cut them out and laminated them. I love the sentiment expressed by R.J. Palacio...imagine what the world would be like if we all "choose kind".
Thanks for reading. Feel free to message me if you have any questions about how we completed this project.