Thursday 7 February 2008

Multimedia wordsearch

This is a really nice tool that I have just discovered. It's called PhotoSoup and it generates wordsearch activities based on any topic in just seconds.

It's very simple and works on images from flickr. You simply type in your topic and the site automatically generates a word grid and image clues. You then have 90 seconds to find all the words. You can get hints and even get it to show you the answers.

Watch a short video to see how it's done. (499k swf)

How to use it with students
  • This is great for vocabulary revision, especially with higher levels. Students could even learn some new vocabulary from it.
  • It would look great on an interactive whiteboard (IWB) or you could give students a collection of vocabulary themes and get them to work on their own.
  • Good to use as a filler for students who finish early

What I like about it
  • It's free
  • Each wordsearch it generates is pretty much unique
  • The timing adds an element of motivation and competition to it
  • It's just so simple
  • I tried a random selection of very unsuitable words that students might put in and it seems that those words are censored, so you don't have to worry so much about badly behaved students looking at unsuitable images
  • It's actually quite tricky

What I'm not so sure about
  • Because it's based on the tags that images are given the words can sometimes seem a bit tangential
  • It's actually quite tricky
  • You can't save your wordsearches (Actually I've just discovered that you can. If you look at the top of the page you can click 'embed puzzle' and this will generate a code that will enable you to embed the wordsearch into a webpage or blog)
This is the kind of site that might have been custom made for language teaching.
Hope you find it useful and your students enjoy it.




Anonymous said...

I tried 'food' and 'sports' but most of the words didn't seem to match the pictures and without the clues I couldn't understand what was in the pictures anyway. However, nice idea - maybe it would work better when used with your own pix , properly tagged.

Nik Peachey said...

Hi Anonymous,

Yes as I said some of the tagging is a bit tangential! It is still in beta though and this may well improve and like you said, it's best done with your own images. If you are working with a class, you could use this to your advantage, first by getting Sts to look at the images only and suggest the words that they may have to look for, and then once they see the hints, they could suggest what the association is. All good language practice even if the words and images aren't spot on.



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