Today, I’d like to talk about tools like Wordle and Tagxedo that can help you generate word clouds. You can change the shape, font, layout, colors, and more. You can generate a word cloud using text from a blog or website.
Holly Chalfont at Shamona Creek used Tagxedo with her fifth grade class to make holiday gifts for parents. The students got to select the shape and they were told to use words that described their family. They printed out the word clouds and glued them onto tiles to make coasters. (I may be biased, but it was an awesome gift!)
Word clouds have many uses. You could use them to access prior knowledge; ask students to create word clouds using everything they know about a topic or use them as a formative assessment to gauge students’ understanding. A teacher could create a word cloud from a particular text that the students will be reading; Wordle will even let you highlight key words in the text that could generate discussion.
Word clouds can be saved and shared. It only takes a few minutes for students to make one, but they’ll find it easy and interesting. I made this word cloud with Tagxedo and it only took a few minutes.
Let us know how you use word clouds in your classroom…