Oh My Word…Sort! “Dulce Et Decorum Est”

Oh My Word…Sort! “Dulce Et Decorum Est”


Introduction: Inspired by a Great Question​

Quite awhile ago, a teacher at our middle school asked me, "Hey Ben, is there an easy way to make a word sort that lets kids know if they put the word in the right category?  You know, like a word sort that grades itself?"  With all of the technology tools out there, .


I was pretty certain that this tool existed. So, I confidently replied something along the lines of I'll look into it and get back to you.  I fully expected to have an answer within the day if not within the week.

Well, it's been several months, and that's not because I forgot about this teachers question.  It turns out that I could not easily find a tool to make online word sorts, especially one that didn't require a lot of technical knowledge.  (If you know of one, please share this resource with me!) .

I was eventually able to find a great tool for building interactive learning activities called H5P (h5p.org).  This resource allows you to create some great learning activities, but unfortunately, you have to have access to an LMS that supports it (Canvas, Blackboard or Moodle) or access to your own website (WordPress, Drupal) so that you can host it.

For those of you have access to these resources, I have a sample activity below as well as some links to information that I found on how to create it.  You will need to adapt the information found in this links to your specific hosting environment, but you should get a general idea of the process that I followed to create the activity.  Enjoy!

Classroom Activity: Understanding Tone in "Dulce Et Decorum Est" by Wilfred Owen

Skilled readers possess many abilities and among the most important is the ability to recognize the tone in a piece of writing.  Most of us recognize tone in spoken language quite easily, leading parents throughout history to say…

For many, recognizing tone, or “the attitude a writer takes toward a subject, a character, or the reader (sympathetic, critical, ironic, humorous, tragic, hopeful, bitter, objective, unemotional)”, in writing is much more difficult.  The following activity will help you think about some ways that authors create tone in their poetry.

Step #1 - Read the Following Poem

“Dulce et Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen

Step #2 - Identify the Concrete Nouns

Concrete nouns are words that represent things that can be seen, felt, heard, smelled and/or tasted.  Please highlight the concrete nouns in this poem using a digital annotation tool or a printed copy.

Step #3 - Complete the Word Sort

Drag and Drop each word into the column that best represents its connotation.  Remember a connotation is “an idea or feeling that a word invokes in addition to its literal or primary meaning.”

Step #4 - Analyze Your Word Sort

Which column includes the most words?  Which contains the fewest?  What can you infer about the author or speaker’s feelings as a result?  Is the overall feeling negative, neutral or positive?  How would you describe the tone?

Step #5 - Pat Yourself on the Back

Congratulations!  You have just learned a new method for identifying the tone of poem.  You may now leave the page and apply this technique in other reading assignments or situations or read further to see how the Word Sort was made.

How It Was Made: H5P Word Sort

You can visit the H5P website at H5P.org to learn more about this very interesting tool.

You can visit this page “Set Up H5P for WordPress” to learn how to add H5P to your WordPress Website.

You can watch the following video to see a demonstration of how to create a Word Sort using H5P.

That's All Folks...

As always, please reach out with your comments and ideas and have an outstanding rest of your day.