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Fun, Quick Activity to Get Students to Think Critically

Here is a fun, quick activity to get students to think  critically. Although this is an ELA example, it can be done with any sufficient selection of text.

Paste an entire chapter of text into Wordle. For this activity, I chose Chapter 5 of The Great Gatsby. Then generate the Wordle or have your students each generate a Wordle depending on your access to technology.

Cha 5 of The Great Gatsby

The students have to then answer or do the following:

  • Why do you think that the Wordle emphasized certain words? How is this relevant to the chapter?
  • What words do you think were left out or not emphasized enough? Why?
  • What words do you think were over represented or that you might have left out based on what you read in the chapter? Which words are not important?
  • Create your own Wordle by drawing or typing the words that you think are important based on what you read in the chapter. Be prepared to expand upon or defend your choices.

This can be done as an assignment, a reflective activity, or as a pre-reading strategy (students do the later steps as they read along.)

The cool thing is even though it involves tech, the final product doesn’t have to involve tech, it can also be done by hand. What is important is that the student has an opportunity to evaluate and explain his or her thought process.

Be sure to have a little fun with this, Old Sport! 🙂


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