I was digging through my old student project files when I came across a wordle.net project from December of 2008. Wordle was all the craze around then so, I wanted to try it with my 5th grade students. I had them type on a spreadsheet 75 words about them. The first five words were their name repeated since we wanted their name to be the largest word in their word cloud. I prompted them when they ran out of ideas with questions like:
Are you a brother, son, grandson?
What is your favorite after school thing to do?
What is your favorite in school thing to do?
What words would others use to describe you?
What words would you like others to use to describe you?
The project became very reflective. Students had to start digging deep to come up with their other 70 words. I did allow them to repeat a few of the most important words two or three times so the word cloud would emphasize them.
While they were working I pulled them to the green screen (which back then was actually blue roll paper) in the back of the art room to pose for their artistic photo holding a paint brush and wearing a smock.
We combined the word cloud image and the artistic photo using Keynote on the laptops. This was the only tool I had available at the time for masking out the background (using instant alpha) and easily layering images. We used drop shadows and frames as they designed their layout with overlapping.
If I were doing this project today I would have students do every step on the iPad using
1. Notes to brainstorm and write their 75 words
2. Word Cloud to paste in and create their cloud then design their layout
3. Superimpose to layer their images together, mask their photo, and save
I have a tutorial showing how to layer and mask images using the superimpose app here.
The images can also be layered in the latest version of the Green Screen app by DoInk now that you can resize images.
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