Get students thinking about a topic or story character by having them create a cluster diagram in Wixie. Cluster diagrams are designed to help with brainstorming and ideation, and Wixie makes it easy for students to create cluster diagrams that combine text, pictures, and voice narration.
Using the Character Traits template in Wixie
Describing the traits of a character in a book is a great place to begin when you are asking students to recall, retell, and demonstrate comprehension.
Wixie makes implementing this process in the classroom easy with templates students can access from their Projects view.
To begin, have students log in to their Wixie account.
Ask them to open the Templates folder in the list on the left and then open the General folder. Students simply click the Character Traits template to open it.
Students can click each box and type to add the name of the character and text descriptions of what the character looks and acts like. They can use the tools to paint a picture of the character.
You can also use the character traits or cluster diagram to help students brainstorm traits for a person or animal they have researched in informational texts.
Kick it up a notch
To add an additional level of thinking to the project, ask students to add another text object connected to each trait that includes evidence from the text that supports their ideas.
This is especially useful in grade three and above when students need to back up their answers about a story or informational text with details and evidence found in the text.
Use a cluster to organize student writing
A cluster organizer can also help students brainstorm and organize ideas before they start writing. They can start by adding ideas, but then move the boxes with similar ideas next to each other, or like, the Suzannah example above, add additional details and evidence to each idea.
Students can search for "cluster" in the field at the top of their Wixie home page or open the Templates folder and the Graphic Organizers folder to find and use it.
If your students need a challenge, ask them to try an associative letter approach. Rather than adding any idea/fact/trait they can think of for their topic or story, challenge them to choose traits or creatively name them so they all begin with the same letter.
This also makes for a creative approach to an "All About Me" project. Instead of just typing any information about themselves, challenge your students to find words and phrases that begin with the same letter as their name, like this E is for Emilee example.
Cluster and character trait diagrams are simple and easy first projects in Wixie. While you can ask for content that is simple recall, it is easy to add a few more requirements to student work to really get them practicing creative and analytical thinking.