Explore the Meaning of Meaning…
Prompt the ‘explorer’ to write something meaningful of any length. The longer it is, the longer it will take them to complete the ‘journey’.
Once they submit their writing…
For each word in the text, ask the user if they can associate a picture to it in a meaningful way. For example if the word is ‘bird’, they should upload a picture of a bird. If they can, then have them upload the picture. If they don’t upload the picture, they have to return later to do so. Or they can change their mind and say that they can not really associate a picture. For example, the word might be too abstract, like ‘idea’. Of course, they could upload a picture of a light bulb for ‘idea’, but that’s up to them.
Once they upload a picture, ask them if they want to upload another. They can upload as many pictures as they want until they say they are done associating pictures with that single word.
For those words that couldn’t be meaningfully associated with a picture, they need to associate the word with a phrase. That phrase can only consist of words from the original text. Prompt them to do so, presenting the inventory of words.
For those words that could not be associated with a picture or phrase following the above ‘rules’, an new phrase can be associated, but each new word introduced must be added to the set of words to be associated. It becomes a bit of a closure puzzle towards the end.
For words that can’t be associated with pictures or phrases, the explorer can choose to associated the word with itself.
Suggestion: Maybe when they type a word from the existing inventory, the word is highlighted green. When they type a word not in the inventory, the word is highlighted red. Present a confirmation dialog when the typed phrase contains a red word, like “This phrase contains a new word. Are you sure you want to add “newword” to the set of words to associate?”
On the back end: Once all words are associated, the association for each word should be accounted for. Each word will be flagged as associated with either:
A. picture(s) only
B. phrases consisting of words from the original text
C. phrases consisting of words from the original text plus words from additional phrases
D. phrases consisting of words from additional phrases only
Optional: Present the resulting web of associations in some minimal manner and hope for insight.