Thursday, May 3, 2012

Tech Savvy- Word Clouds

It's time for Tech Savvy Tuesday Thursday.

Sorry it's two days late.

Have you used Word Clouds in your classroom?  I've been using them for the past couple of years and they are so fun! A word cloud is just what it sounds like!  You can type in words or paste in a selection from text and the different sites create an image using the words.  In a lot of word cloud sites, the more times a word is repeated, the larger the word appears in the cloud.

There are several free sites out there that you can use to create word clouds in your classroom.

Here are some of the ones I've used.

This was the first site that I ever used and it's my go-to usually for something fast.  It's super easy.  You can print it out right then.  The downside is that you can't save it as an image. (You can also screen capture it though). It's great if you want to print it out!

Not only do I already love the fun games on this site, but I discovered recently their WordCloud feature. It's very similar to Wordle, but you are able to save the image as a jpeg.  This one is very kid friendly!

The cool thing about this site is that you can turn the word clouds into different shapes.  I like that when you hover over the words, they pop out.

Tagul is my new favorite discovery.  You can do everything that I listed with the other sites and it's pretty easy to customize! Plus, you can create a Login and save all of your word clouds online.

So how can you use Wordle in your Classroom?

Here are 6 ideas that you could use in almost any classroom!

#1 Create an All About Me Project

#2 Overused words in Student Writing
Have students copy and paste their writing in a site.  Students can look at the larger words to see which words they overused. 

#3 Making Predictions or Finding the Main Idea
Copy and Paste a reading selection/story into one of the sites to make a prediction about the text. This would be really fun with a fairy tale or nonfiction piece. You could also display this after reading and discuss main idea.  You could also use this for famous speeches or documents. 

#4 Prior Knowledge & Review
Before you start a unit, you can ask students to share words they associate with a topic i.e. space, habitats, etc.  Type in words and create a word cloud.  At the end of they unit, create a new word cloud using information they learned. 

#5 Vocabulary
Students could use a word cloud to create math or content vocabulary posters.

They could also use it to show the meaning of character traits. 

#6 End of the Year Name Present
I have created these for the last 2 years for my kiddos!  I wish I had a finished product to show you, but we haven't created them yet.  Here is what we do. 

I have every student place a numbered paper on their desk with their name at the top. The students in the class walk around and write an adjective or character trait that describes each student. (My students each have a number so they just write down their adjective beside their number, this keeps them all positive!)

Then, in my free time, (I wish)  I create a word cloud using all of the words.  I have always used Wordle, but I might try a different one this year!  I print it out, glue it on a half piece of posterboard, add a class picture, and laminate it.  When I give them out at the end of the year, I give the students permanent markers and let them sign each other's poster!  My kids always LOVE it!  It's personalized and a great way to remember their classmates.  I have had parents tell me that there students still have them hanging up in their room! 

Another option is to create a word cloud with every student's name and laminate it with a class picture!

If you're interested in creating the individual word clouds, here is a Freebie sheet to get you started! You can use it for your kiddos to write down the character traits about one another!

What is your favorite way to use Word Clouds? Let me know! :)

Oh and don't forget about my 300 Follower Giveaway! It ends tomorrow night. 


  1. I just love the 6th idea! I am definitely going to try that one! Mind if I post it to Pinterest?

    1. Thanks so much!! My kids always love it! Of course you can pin it!

  2. You seriously have the BEST ideas! Love the end of year gift idea! I always make a photo card from wal-mart with a picture of me and each child but I might have to do this too! Thanks Amber!

  3. Great ideas. I've wanted to think of a way to use Wordle etc with my 2nd graders but never took the time to think about it! Thanks

  4. Thank you so much for introducing us to Tagul! I had never heard of it before yesterday! We're going to use it for our Mother's Day gifts! My class is so excited! Easy and free! Love it!

  5. I just started using Wordle in my class! When we started the geometry unit, I had the kids brainstorm words they associated with Geometry and we created a Wordle that I printed and copied for their binders. I was JUST thinking of making wordles for the end of the year using the same process you just described!! Great minds think alike right?!
    To The Square Inch


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