Wordle is a tool for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. Eg:

The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends.

Whilst it’s a fun, easy to use tool – how could you use Wordle in the classroom?  Whilst I am sure there are many ideas (and please do add them to the comments section if you have them!), here are just a few that I can think of off-hand:

  1. Students copy and paste their stories into worlde, and generate a word cloud.  Have them study the wordle and explore the words they tend to ‘over-use’  when writing!  (I’ll bet that the word ‘said’ is HUGE in many lower school stories!!!)
  2. Brainstorm words about a topic and create a wordle.  You could have them stick it in their books as a ‘word wall’ type resource
  3. Write words that describe a parent and what they do for you, and create a wordle to copy and paste onto the front of a mother’s or father’s day card.  Remember to include the really important words like mum, dad or the things that are very special more than once.  The more times the word appears in the text you paste into wordle, the larger the word appears.
  4. Have students copy and paste a well-known short story into wordle and create a cloud.  Pin around the room and have the students walk around and see if they can guess which story the clouds are about.
  5. Create wordles of spelling words with the ones they missed in a pre-test added several times.
  6. Create your own wordle email signatures.  Eg: 

    Copy and paste a speech (eg Martin Luther Kings dream speech) into wordle to create a cloud that shows in seconds the main ideas in the speech.

  7. Create a wordle about your school rules
  8. Poll the class on words to describe their perfect classroom.  Combine all the students responses (allowing of course for double ups!) and create a wordle to display in your room.  Perfect for display at parents nights to show what the students are striving for.
  9. When discussing data and diferent ways to present information, use a wordle alongside bar graphs and pie charts as examples.

Can you think of anything else??  Don’t forget to add your ideas to the comments so we can all benefit!


Posted on 21/03/10, in Art, Literacy, Web 2.0. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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