David Loertscher has a technique for wrapping up a research adventure with an activity called "The Big Think." The purpose of the activity is for each participant in the research to describe the important ideas and concepts learned and determine where to head next with research. Why not do the same with our family history research?
Here is one of his model questions for a Big Think:
• What are the important ideas we explored?
• What does this tell us about the topic?
• What does this mean?
• What new understandings emerge?
• What new questions do we have?
• How can we use what we know?
• What else do we want to explore?
Loertscher, David, Koechlin, Carol and Zwaan, Sandi. The Big Think: 9 Metacognative Strategies That Make the Unit End Just the Beginning of Learning. Salt Lake City UT: Hi Willow Research and Publishing, 2009.
Word cloud creation offers a fun, inventive, and free way to have family history researchers summarize their findings, or look toward their next research challenge. The concept of word clouding is easy. Choose the most important words in your genealogical research, enter them into the world cloud site, and create your cloud. The possibilities are endless! Here is a list of various word cloud programs. Some require your signing in, others are open to immediate use. Some require saving to their site and knowing your access code. Others allow downloading of your creations.
Not only can word clouds be a useful Big Think, but you can use your designs for clothing, bags, invitations, family reunions, or social media.
Wordle (http://www.wordle.net/) is the grandaddy word cloud creation program online. You can modify your fonts, colors, sizes, configurations. It does not however place your words into a sillohuette like some others. It does use Java which can have its problems on Chrome.
WordItOut (Http://worditout.com) is similar to Wordle, though you do not need to log in and you merely right click on the image to copy and paste it.
Tagxedo (http://www.tagxedo.com) describes itself as "word cloud with styles." Its feature of inserting your text into a shape is not only fun, but can be thematic. The shape in the sample replicates the tree of the 91st Division. But I could have scanned in a photograph and used its silhouette also.
Tagul (https://tagul.com/) givesTagxedo a run for cool. You can even create word groups within word groups. Its shapes are unique.
Word Clouds for Kids (http://www.abcya.com/word_clouds.htm) is easy and you do not need to sign in.
Word cloud generators multiple, and there are many more out there. Perhaps another will speak to you. Check out this article which lists the ones I mentioned and others: 10 Word Cloud Generators You Have Probably Never Tried
By Katie Lepi on June 26, 2014 http://www.edudemic.com/word-cloud-generators/.