My next unit will focus on how to talk about what people like and don't like (and what they like and don't like to do). This weekend I have the task of choosing some focus words. Back in the day this meant cracking open the textbook to chapter 3. Today, however, I run things a little bit differently.
Enter the Google Form, a fantastic and easy to use survey tool. Last week I had my students answer a couple simple questions in English about what they liked, liked to do, didn't like, and didn't like to do. I also want to begin teaching them to talk about the past so I included questions specifically about their childhood and what they used to like, like to do, not like, and not like to do when they were younger. Their responses were promptly delivered to me in a spreadsheet like this:
I am sure many of you have seen word clouds before, but they are more than just a neat graphic. Word clouds are designed so that the terms that are used most frequently in your submission appear the largest. So, I take the information from my spreadsheet, copy it, and paste it into Wordle and I get the following word cloud that shows my students likes.
The same thing goes with their dislikes:
So, in just a few minutes, I am able to see what words will be most important to my lesson. Not to be taken for granted is that I also learned something about my students while giving them input into the content of the lesson with this student driven vocabulary list.
What do you think about this idea? What are some ways in which you get student input as to what you learn in the classroom?