Wordle’s the Word

What is Wordle™? Wordle™, created by Jonathan Feinberg, is an app as described on their website as “a toy for generating “word clouds”,[graphical representations of words], from text that you provide.”  With Wordle™ you can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts and color schemes.  The images created could be used however you like.  Why is Wordle™ a great classroom tool?  It is a fun tool that both students and teachers enjoy and its uses in the classroom are endless.  To follow are just a few of my ideas:

  1. Wordles™ can be used by teachers to differentiate classroom reading assignments. Generate word clouds before reading assignments and ask students to circle words from the cloud that they do not understand or are the least familiar with.
  2. Students can use Wordle™ to correct repetitive word use.  The largest words in the Wordle are the most repetitive. The larger the word, the more it was used.  Students would thus know that if they have very large words, then those words must be used too often.
  3. Do you Word Splash?  Use Wordle™ to have students quickly brainstorm all the words they associate with the topic of an article they will soon be reading.
  4. Do your students write personal narratives? Write or copy and paste a personal narrative into Wordle™.  Students will be able to see what is important to their peers from the words that are produced from the Wordle™.  Students then can compare the words that are used most often boys, or girls, by age group, or by class/grade level.  I’m thinking Math lesson! Come on polls and graphing 😉
  5. When studying famous speeches, enter the text of the famous historical speech into Wordle™. Analyze the results by looking at the most commonly used words, or even the words that are not used. What does this tell us about the orator and their
  6. Use Wordle™ for student profiles.  Have all students in your class write a few positive adjectives about each of their classmates anonymously.  Compile all their papers, input the adjectives for each student into Wordle™.  Could be a great end of the year activity to take home on the last day of school.  OR at the beginning of the year, have students create a Wordle™ to tell about themselves and turn them into a class book for students to read in the class library area.
  7. You could have Wordle™ word walls.  Students can brainstorm synonyms, antonyms, or definitions for their list of vocabulary words.  Add your clouds to the existing word wall.
  8. Teachers can use Wordle™ in assessment both pre and post.  I.E. When evaluating nouns, have students use ten common and ten proper nouns.  Nouns could be themed or left up to the student’s desire.
  9. Wordle™ could be used to show word families.
  10. ……….YOU DECIDE!!!  The possibilities are endless.

Other Word Cloud generators:
ABCya! Word Clouds—site is similar to Wordle but is even easier to use. May be very useful for the littler guys and gals.
Tagxedo—similar to Wordle™, but offers custom shapes and themes and many more fonts than Wordle™.  Also you can save word clouds as PNG and JPG files.  The digital designer in me was excited. 🙂
Imagine Chef Word Mosaic—also allows for different shapes, colors, and fonts. Creates a really cool word cloud.
Tagul—allows users to create gorgeous word clouds in various shapes and in multiple fonts.

This entry was posted in Teaching Resource and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.