Digital Discipleship: Transforming Ministry Through Technology

Posts tagged ‘Word Cloud’

Word Clouds in the Religion Classroom

Easter-5

As I read Michael Gormon’s post 200 Ways to Use Word Clouds in the Classroom , I missed seeing suggestions for the subject of RELIGION.

So here are 8 Suggestions for using a WordCloud in your religion classroom:

  1. Paste a Gospel Reading from the USCCB website into your Word Cloud tool. You may wish to turn off common words. Discuss the phrases or words that are important in this reading.
  2. Post students first names to create a Word Cloud of those who are part of your class.
  3. Students create a Word Cloud for the life of a specific saint or Scripture personality.
  4. Make a Word Cloud of certain Scripture events – e.g., Birth of Jesus, Jesus Lost in the Temple, etc. Then exchange the Word Cloud with another group and invite the group to identify the story.
  5. Pick the same story in Scripture as told by Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John (e.g., Parable of the Lost Sheep (Matthew and Luke ) and create two different Word Clouds. Invite students to discuss what is unique to each storyteller.
  6. Make a Word Cloud of lyrics of your favorite Christian song.
  7. Have students create a Word Cloud using their favorite Bible Passage. They then present their Word Cloud to the class and invite students to guess the passage.
  8. Show a Video. Then invite groups of three to five students to identify words or phrases that are important to this video. Have students create a Word Cloud using their words or phrases.  Discuss the similarities and differences between the various word clouds created by each group.

You may want to look at a previous blog article WordClouds and Prayer  for suggestions to use a WordCloud in prayer.

I have a feeling that my readers have some other suggestions.  I invite you to add your suggestions in the “comment” section of this blog.

Word Clouds and Prayer

At the 2011 Catechetical Ministry Day for the Diocese of St. Augustine, I was invited to do a workshop titled “Praying with Technology.”  I must admit that as I began to develop the workshop, I was not sure what I would include in the presentation.

The insight I gained is that tools have always been used in prayer.  Tools like parchment to record our Sacred Scriptures with the psalms and words of Jesus as he prayed and more.  The printing press allowed us to create a variety of prayer resources.  We often use a pen or a pencil to record the prayers that we want to share with others.

In today’s digital culture, we now have different tools to use.  To name a few: laptop or desktop computers, iPads and tablets, iPods and MP3 Players, a Blog, a Wiki and more Web 2.0 tools than you may be aware of.

In this post I want to focus on Word Clouds.  There are several web   services that allow you to create a word cloud.  My three favorites are:

Let’s just take the words of the Our Father and create a word cloud with them.

Our Father Wordle Cloud

Our Father Wordle Cloud

ABCYD Word Cloud

ABCYD Our Father Word Cloud

Tagxedo Our Father Word Cloud

Tagxedo Our Father Word Cloud

You ask – So how could I use a “Word Cloud” with my students?  Following are a couple of suggestions.   I encourage you to reflect on how you might use a “Word Cloud” with your class, RCIA members, youth groups, and any group you are involved with catechetical ministry.

Suggestions:

  1. Create a word cloud with one of the word cloud tools.  These services usually allow you to embed the code into your blog, or forward a link to others via e-mail, or you just may want to save the graphic image of this word cloud to use in a PPT presentation.  You’ll notice in the graphics I’ve included that there are key words that stand out.   Perhaps the students could guess what prayer this word cloud represents.  Add the Our Father word cloud in a PowerPoint guided prayer at the point where you would say the Our Father.  When they see the prayer cloud, they would – in this case – say the Our Father together.
  2. Invite your students to go home and create a Word Cloud using the week’s assigned prayer that they are learning this week.  Then direct them to come to the Class Wiki.  They can “embed” the code of this graphic on their page and in 50 to 100 words, they can respond to the following:  When you pray (Name of Prayer), if you had the opportunity to rewrite this prayer in your own words, what would you say to God? Or, any other assigned task.
  3. Create a Wordle for 10 Different Prayers.  Then add these graphics to a PowerPoint.  As a brief quiz to see who is able to identify the prayer they represent, using a response system like Quizdom (or just plain cell phones and Poll EveryWhere invite the students to identify the prayers that the word clouds represent.

As you become comfortable with “word clouds”, and use this type of activity with your class, remember to come back to this blog post to share your story.  Your story is important!

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Copyright ©2011 Caroline Cerveny

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