Moodle 1.9: Working with Tree Diagrams

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Moodle 1.9: The English Teacher’s Cookbook

Moodle 1.9: The English Teacher's Cookbook

80 simple but incredibly effective recipes for teaching reading comprehension, writing, and composing using Moodle 1.9

Creating a tree diagram using Microsoft Word

A tree diagram is used to compare two different situations, topics, persons, or ideas in the same category. As opposed to a Venn diagram, in a tree diagram there are no similarities, so we are going to try to deal with two different topics to explore as many differences as possible. We can work with vocabulary, adjectives, and linking devices. A suitable piece of writing in this case would be an essay or article expressing the different views. As regards the drawing of the tree diagram, it may be either horizontal or vertical, so we are going to carry out both of them. Let’s get ready to work!

Getting ready

We are going to draw a tree diagram about two different cultures and create two links to websites so that students can finish the diagrams. In this case, we are going to design them using Microsoft Word, but you are free to choose any other editor. In this recipe, we will be dealing with two countries whose customs are totally different—Egypt and Greenland.

How to do it…

You will be designing the tree diagram in Microsoft Word and comparing several aspects of both countries. The students are to complete the information provided by the websites from where they are to take the information. Therefore, in the following activity we are going to design a reading comprehension activity, a prewriting activity, and a writing one. Open Microsoft Word and follow these steps:

  1. Click on Insert and choose SmartArt, then choose Hierarchy, and select Horizontal Hierarchy, as shown in the next screenshot:

    Moodle 1.9: Working with Tree Diagrams

  2. Insert two diagrams, one for Egypt and another one for Greenland, as shown in the following screenshot:

    Moodle 1.9: Working with Tree Diagrams

  3. Save the file.

How it works…

We are going to create a writing activity in our Moodle course, so select the Weekly outline section where you want to place it. We will design it through an Essay within a Quiz, so these are the steps that you have to follow:

  1. Click on Add an activity and select Advanced uploading of files.
  2. Complete the Assignment name block.
  3. Complete the Description block and create links to the two websites, one about Greenland and another one about Egypt.
  4. Insert a link for the tree diagram file.
  5. Click on Save and return to course.
  6. The activity appears as shown in the next screenshot:

    Moodle 1.9: Working with Tree Diagrams

Pictures in a tree diagram—creating a tree diagram using creately.com

We are going to create a tree diagram using images instead of words. Students are free to combine the pictures in their future writing, though we have to be very careful in choosing the right pictures. In this case, we are going to use the following website: http://creately.com, which is an excellent resource from our wonderful Web 2.0.

Getting ready

We are going to enter the website that we have mentioned before and we are going to sign in. Afterwards, we are going to choose a template to work with. In this case, we can select Decision Tree 1 or Blank Diagram to create it ourselves. Here I have decided to work with the first mentioned template.

How to do it…

These are the steps that you have to follow in order to create the tree diagram with images using the http://creately.com website:

  1. Write a name for the document in the Document Name block.
  2. Choose the template that you want to work with, as shown in the next screenshot:

    Moodle 1.9: Working with Tree Diagrams

  3. Click on Create document.
  4. Drag and drop the images on the left-hand side and complete the diagram with pictures.
  5. Save the diagram.

How it works…

After virtually drawing the diagram, we are going to get into our Moodle course and choose the Weekly outline section where we want to place the activity. In this case, we are going to create a Forum activity in which students can choose a title for this story, that is to say they are going to brainstorm using this diagram. These are the steps that you have to follow:

  1. Click on Add an activity and select Forum.
  2. Complete the Forum name and Forum introduction.
  3. Go back to the website of the tree diagram and click on Embed image, as shown in the next screenshot:

    Moodle 1.9: Working with Tree Diagrams

  4. Click on Select and Copy, as shown in the next screenshot:

    Moodle 1.9: Working with Tree Diagrams

  5. Go back to the Moodle course and click on the Toggle HTML Source icon and paste the embedding code. Then click on the same icon again.
  6. Click on Save and return to course.
  7. The activity appears as shown in the next screenshot:

    Moodle 1.9: Working with Tree Diagrams

There’s more…

You can also design a writing activity since the prewriting process was carried out by the Forum activity. Students brainstormed among themselves and gathered a lot of data in order to write a story.

Designing a writing activity out of the tree diagram

You can create an Upload a single file activity or an Offline one in which students write what they have discussed in the Forum. They may have written the story while discussing, but that is the first part of the process of writing. So the final draft is what you are going to design here.


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