Students brainstorm to create a “tag cloud” about their life. After a paper switch, partners use words to script a brief “bio”.
Learner Level: Intermediate
Language focus: Brainstorming
Skills: Writing, thinking in English
Time: 10 minutes
Materials: Pen and paper for each student
Preparation: Make sure you know what a “tag cloud” is.
1. Put the word Tag Cloud on the board. Ask students if they know what it means. Give them hints. For example, “you see it online”, “you see it on blogs”, “a tag is a key word”.
2. Place students in pairs (or small groups).
3. Tell each student to get out a piece of blank paper. Your students are going to imagine that they keep an electronic diary. What words would be found most often in their blog posts? (study, boyfriend, guitar, McDonalds, TOEFL) Give your students five minutes to create a tag cloud about their own life. Tell students they can write words horizontally, diagonally, and vertically. The words should be bunched together like a cloud. Encourage students to write down as many words as possible in 5 minutes.
4. After five minutes have the students pass their tag cloud to a partner. Partners will look at the tag clouds and try to write a short bio about their partner based on the tags. Encourage students to have fun guessing. The bio does not have to be true. Give students 5 minutes (maximum) to write the bio.
Example words found in Mia’s tag cloud:
basketball, Marie, French class, tired, iPOD, concert, winter, snow, birthday
Example bio of Mia:
Mia loves to play basketball. She wishes she didn’t have French class. She would rather play basketball every day with her friend Marie. She is tired of French. She listens to French lessons on her iPOD. It has been snowing every day this winter. Mia is looking forward to summer. Her birthday is in the summer. She loves summer because she can go to many concerts.
Teacher 2 teacher:
For a related homework assignment, direct your students to http://www.wordle.net/. Have students create a Wordle based on their day. Students can send each other Wordles in an email or post them online.