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Answer Garden
Growing Answers Using Web 2.0


Answer Garden is a simple Web 2.0 tool used for getting feedback from a group. It can be used in grades K-12 to determine the knowledge level of students on a given topic. No registration is required.

Once a question is typed in, students can submit answers on the website or the Answer Garden can be embedded on a blog or other website.

Students simply key in their answers to your question or click on existing answers to create a word cloud of answers. Useful across the curriculum this online assessment tool definitely needs to be on your list of teacher resources.

Answers are limited to 20 characters so students must be succinct with their answers . Twenty-five answers are visible per garden, but if students submit the same answer, that word grows bigger.

21st Century Skills

Critical thinking skills are developed as students analyze and evaluate information to give feedback using this Web 2.0 site. Students engage in collaboration during brainstorming sessions in class as they submit answers to a question.


In the Classroom

This web 2.0 tool can aid in formative and summative assessment by posting an open-ended thinking question for students to answer.

  • It can be used to activate prior knowledge before a lesson and as an "exit card" to determine the level of understanding following a lesson.
  • Versatile on many age levels, this Web 2.0 tool can be used to conduct a classroom poll, such as this holiday Answer Garden - "What do you want from Santa?"
  • During reading students can use it to describe characteristics of a story character or setting.
  • Teachers can get feedback on students' knowledge of figures of speech, such as alliteration, metaphors, and similes by asking for examples.
  • In math teachers can get feedback on a graph or chart example prior to a lesson using data.
  • In social studies students can describe a country, state, or historical person they are researching.

Students can use this website to work collaboratively, such as brainstorming

  • words that illustrate a given spelling rule.
  • topics for a writing assignment.
  • names for a classroom pet.

This web site engages students by letting them see each other's answers. It also provides a good visual tool because if the same words are frequently keyed in as answers those words in the word cloud become larger. By resting your cursor over an answer the number of respondents is shown.

The resulting word cloud can also be made into a Wordle and displayed in the classroom.

Here's an example of Answer Garden used in an ESL classroom:

Common Core State Standards (CCSS)


Production and Distribution of Writing.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.


Video Tutorial

Safety Concerns

Although not required, using the option to enter a password allows you to moderate and delete any inappropriate responses.

From the Answer Garden web site:
"I'm a teacher. How can I prevent bullying and foul language?"
"You can't. As with many Web 2.0 tools you're depending on user input, and some users choose to give unwanted input (simple reason being: because they can!). Yet, if you supply an admin password when you create an Answer Garden, you can delete these unwanted answers. We're working on some kind of smart general filter for foul language, based on the words have been deleted in the past. We also reworked the way the site accepts similar answers by one user (computer). We're teachers as well and we've noticed that you can play a hand in preventing 'childish' reactions: mentioning your students that you want serious answers (not childish reactions) often can be enough...after all, it's a new way of learning for them as well! Mostly they do not really want to offend anyone but there's a chance one in the classroom might try to post a joke because it's possible. Moderating the answers on another computer might be useful."

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