Word Magnets is an excellent free piece of software which allows you to cut and paste sentences and reassemble them in random order, rather like fridge magnets. It is extremely simple and can used in a surprising number of ways. We have also spoken with the guys at Triptico who built it, and they have adapted Word Magnets to accept both Pinyin and Chinese Characters!
Here are some ideas about how you can use Word Magnets:
1. Cut and paste sentences that you are working on in class for example:
Nǐ shì nǎ guó rén? or 是哪国人？
The words are then split into seperate magnets and students have to place them in the correct order
2. Take the sentence Nǐ shì nǎ guó rén? and use the 'remove' function and erase on of the words. Students have to recognise which word is missing from the sentence. The same can be done with characters of course.
3. Colour code the sentence you have just written, giving nouns, verbs, pronouns etc an individual colour.
4. Paste a whole mix of 'paired' words. For example, kě渴,è 饿 and kāixīn 开,shāngxīn 伤心
Get the students to identify which words are 'paired'. You can actually change the background of the screen to give you boxes, circles etc which can be used to drag the magnets into.
If you have any other ideas for using word magnets, please leave a comment below.