Word Clouds

Why Word Clouds?

Long documents and speeches can be hard to process, especially in a short time. Word clouds are a powerful and easy visualization tool that sorts long text documents based on the number of times a word is used. The more a word is used, the larger it will appear. Word clouds can be used in the classroom to help students access a piece of text from a visual angle. They can also be used as an excellent reflection tool to spark in class discussion based directly on the text.

Word Cloud Examples

Wordle
The best known word cloud tool, easy to use, and allows for the word cloud to have its color, font and layout randomly changed or adjusted until it is perfect for your use.

Tagxedo
It allows for the user to make clouds in the shapes of certain forms, such as hearts, circles, and faces and to fit themes. It's useful for making more artistic looking word clouds. For more tips on using Tagxedo, read 101 Ways to Use Tagxedo.

VocabGrabber
Aunique tool, it helps the user locate most used words and understand their meaning within context. Vocabgrabber can be a useful scaffold for struggpng readers and can help teachers quickly understand passages and trouble spots that students might have.

Tagul
It is a lot likeTagxedo, but allows for more artistic, shape formed word clouds within shapes and with certain thematic colors.

WordSift
A very simple and basic word cloud maker, it was developed at Stanford University.

Word Clouds Example

Sample Word Cloud

How to Integrate Word Clouds

Word clouds work as an excellent support, scaffold and inspiration for discussion. Here are some of the ways that you might use them in your classroom:

  • Predictions
  • Language Analysis: Definitions, Synonyms and Antonyms
  • Compare and Contrast
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