Wordle.net creates these colorful, attention grabbing graphics from word lists you supply. This wordle image was created from a list of springtime words, but there are many possibilities. Here are a few suggestions for using word clouds in the classroom.
- Create a word cloud as an anticipatory set to introduce a unit. Use it to start a discussion.
- Have students create word clouds about themselves and share with a partner or with the class. After printing them, post on the wall and have students guess whose is whose.
- At the end of the year, have each student contribute a word. Then create a word cloud that tells the story of the year.
- Create a word cloud for the weekly vocabulary list. Show it on the overhead screen and play the flyswatter review game. (1. two students holding fly swatters stand with their backs to the screen 2. teacher says a word definition 3. the first student to turn around and swat the correct word gets a point for their team)
- Write a poem from a word cloud.
- Post the class rules by making a word cloud with positive character traits (see sample below).
- Teach an art lesson. Why are some word clouds more appealing? Discuss design principles.
- Create a test review and define all the concepts in the cloud.
Here some examples:
This was created from the entire text of Romeo and Juliet.
These words are from a Dolch sight word list for third graders.
Positive character traits for in the classroom.
- How to save your finished wordle project:
These examples are screenshots take from the finished design. I clicked the Open in Window button and then took a screenshot. There are also options for printing or saving to the public gallery on wordle.net.
- Customizing the design:
Play with the Layout, Font, and Color settings in order to make it easier to read. You can right-click on a word to remove it. Under Layout there is a “Prefer Alphabetical Order” that would be useful at times.
- Have fun, and feel free to share any other ideas for using wordles for learning.