Whether it be Wordle, Tagxedo or Tagul, these word cloud sites provide you with fantastic opportunities to explore and play with words in the classroom. Some of the ways I've used them:
- Type all the students' names in to create a crest/shield for the classroom door.
- As a pre and post unit evaluation tool. At the beginning of our unit I asked students to write their own defintion of what a museum was. I entered each of their definitions in and we printed out the word cloud and pasted into our HSIE books. At the end of the unit the students once again wrote their own defintion of a museum and we made another word cloud. We then compared the word clouds and discovered that we had signficantly increased our metalanguage on the topic and also demonstrated a much deeper understanding of the different types of museums and their purpose.
- Input complete URLs into word clouds and compare the finished products. This led to discussions on which site was more suitable for primary aged students and contained the most appropriate type of information.
- As an infographic during a Maths lesson on data. We surveyed the class and recorded each response. We were able to see the most and least popular responses by identifying the largest and smallest words in the word cloud.
- A fun way to record spelling words for the week.
- After publishing an information report on an Australian animal, students made a word cloud by copying and pasting their own text. We used tagxedo so students could import a sillouette of the Australian animal they had reported on. The completed tagxedos were pasted onto a background created during art. Students had to represent the colours and textures of their chosen animal on art paper.
- As a pre-book reading activity. I typed in the story I was about to read and displayed the resulting word cloud. We discussed who the main and minor characters might be, where the story might be occurring, what the problem or complication may be and even how it might end. Students then retold the story in their own words using the information given. We then read the story and compared versions.
- Also a great way to view the school plan or website to see if your priorities feature most prominantly.
This is a nice simple word cloud creator for students in K-2. They simple write their words into the box given and then can select from a variety of font styles, colour themes and word layouts. There is no option for using your own shapes. Check out the samples below from a Year 1 class.
Suitable K - 2 Unblocked K - 6
This one is my favourite site to create word clouds, simply because it has so many different ways to customize and save your work.
You can use one of the provided shapes or even upload your own shape to create your tagzedo. You can make your tagxedo from urls, blogs, twitter or RSS feeds, tags or simply type in your chosen text. Select a theme and layout then save as a jpg or png.
Watch a tutorial on creating a word cloud here.
Suitable Yrs 2 - 6 Unblocked K - 6
With Wordle you can type in your own text, use a URL of any site with a RSS feed or create a word cloud based on someone's delicious tags. Once completed you can edit the font, layout and colour. While the colour options appear limited you can create your own colour palette. You can publish to a public gallery and then get an embed code to link to your creation but there is no save as image function. You need to screen capture if you wish to save your final design as an image.
Suitable Yrs 2 - 6 Unblocked K - 6
Click on the thumbnail above to see a word cloud made with Wordle using my own delicious tags.
Another word cloud design program that is free and fairly easy to use. This one also allows you to upload your own shapes for your word cloud design. The negative to this site is that you do need to sign up to make one.
Suitable Yrs 2 - 6