- Have students create an "All About Me", or "My Strengths," using words that describe themselves. Great for self-esteem and to introduce each other on the first day of school. Also great for a lesson on adjectives!
- Create a class word cloud as an alternative method of displaying brainstorming words for a new unit.
- Students could create a word cloud to demonstrate their understanding of a character in the book they are reading.
- They make great gifts! Print them out on glossy paper and frame them. I used this idea for Father's Day one year.
- Thank you cards would look great with a word cloud as the illustration on the front.
- I have seen examples of French or other language teachers creating a word cloud of famous fairy tales using French words only. Their students have to guess the fairy tale.
- Word clouds are a great tool to use when making a presentation or to include in a project that has a lot of text.
- Some websites, like Wordle, only print each word once, but each time the word is submitted, the word is displayed larger. This would be a great way to display survey results. The example below shows the survey results to the question: What's your favorite ice cream flavour?
This is the first word cloud website I heard of, and I've used it many, many times. It's very dependable, and easy to use.
- Go to www.wordle.net.
- CLick "create."
- Enter the words you want to appear in the word cloud. Each word is treated separately, so phrases may be split up. If you want the words kept together (like first name and middle name, for example) separate them with a ~ instead of a space. Instead of entering the text yourself, if you have the text you want on your computer already (such as a website or document), you can simply copy and paste. I did that for the Wordle below from one of my blog posts.
- Click "GO."
- Your wordle will be displayed in a new box. Now you get to play!
- There are some options at the top of the wordle. Each one affects how the words are displayed. Go ahead and check them out - I think they're self-explanatory.
- Under the wordle, you can click "randomize," which suggests layouts, fonts, etc for you.
- One slightly annoying thing about Wordle is that you cannot choose to save your image. You can print it as is, but then there is no option to change the size. I usually just take a screenshot (command, shift, 4 on a Mac and alt, prnt scn on PC).
Tagxedo.com is a website i've only just recently come across. It's so fun! With this website you can make your word clouds into shapes. There are a variety of shapes to choose from, and you can even upload a photo of your own into the site to make one-of-a-kind word clouds. Tagxedo uses the words over and over again, unlike Wordle, and there are many more options to choose from. When your word cloud is finished, you can save as a jpg to your computer, and even order merchandise with the image. Very cool!
There are some great IOS apps out there that do the same thing on your iPad.