Most Bible teachers would agree that the main purpose of children’s ministry is to teach kids to be like Jesus. This simple word cloud activity is a fun way to teach kids the character traits of Jesus while allowing them to be creative and use technology.
A word cloud is a graphical representation of word frequency. The picture located at the top left of this blog post is a sample word cloud I created based on the character traits of Jesus. There are many free online word cloud generators but I recommend http://www.abcya.com/word_clouds.htm for elementary kids. It has a kid- friendly interface that allows kids to change fonts, colors, print, and save.
Lesson Plan (grades 4-6)
The Character Traits of Jesus
This lesson is meant to allow for class discussion of the character traits of Jesus but can be used to teach the character traits of any Bible character. Teachers may use this lesson to introduce a series of Bible stories about Jesus or review content previously taught depending upon the student level.
- As the teacher, watch the YouTube video “Create a Character Word Cloud” at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycwnA6Dy1fg. This slideshow for teachers, developed by Laura Candler, demonstrates step-by-step how to create a word cloud at http://www.abcya.com/word_clouds.htm and use the “Create a Character Word Cloud” handout provided on www.lauracandler.com. To access the handout, select “Strategies” from the menu at the top of the page and then “Literacy Instruction”. Select the “Reading Aloud” folder. Scroll to the bottom of the page to “Read Aloud Activities and Strategies”. Select the “Character Word Cloud” link in number 1.
- Make photocopies of the “Character Clouds” handout for your children. Have them complete either individually, in groups, or as a whole class the “Character Rating Scale”.
- Type the text into the word cloud creator at www.abcya.com/word_clouds.htm or open a word processing program and type the text. The word with the highest rating (#1) on the character rating scale will be typed 10 times. The word with the second highest rating will be typed 9 times and so forth. If using a word processor, copy and paste the entire text into the word cloud creator at www.abcya.com/word_clouds.htm.
- Complete the creation of the word cloud by following the instructions on the site allowing children to change the font, arrangement, etc.
- Your completed graphical display can be saved and printed. Consider displaying it in your classroom as a Word Wall for review and reinforcement or just to brighten up your classroom.
The lesson above uses word clouds to teach the character traits of Jesus but word clouds can also be created to
- Predict what might happen next in the Bible story
- Describe the country of Israel (physical and/or spiritual)
- Emphasize Bible vocabulary words
- Compare a English Bible word to a Hebrew Bible word (to keep words together in a word cloud use the tilde symbol between the words; for example “Jesus~Yeshua”)
- Create a personal narrative about each child