Using Word Clouds

One idea to think about is using word clouds like Wordle or Tagxedo to introduce content or for students to show research. This can hook students’ interest. Create a word cloud for an upcoming unit and show to students. Have them predict what the unit will be about. Take an upcoming unit’s vocabulary and have students complete a rate your knowledge sheet. Then create two word clouds to show students, those words students know…those words students don’t know as well. Remember when creating the word cloud to put the words in each time they appear so that those words that students are more unfamiliar with as a whole will appear larger. Show the word clouds again at the end of a unit to ensure students have learned the words they were unfamiliar with. Another idea is to use Wordle to help students monitor word choice. After students have created their document in Word, cut and paste the document in Wordle and create a cloud. Those words that are repeated most often will appear larger. Students can go back and do any necessary editing to overused words. Then students can re-create a word cloud to see how their editing paid off! Other ideas for word clouds?
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