Ways to Use Wordle and Alternative Programs

If you haven’t used Wordle, you are missing out. What is Wordle? Wordle generates “word clouds” from the words you submit. The size of the word is determined by how important it is. Words entered into the source more times appear larger than words entered fewer times. Wordle is common in education but does require JAVA which makes it not available on some computers.

Unable to use Wordle at your school?  Try an alternative-WordArt.com works very much like Wordle. Enter your words on the grid on the website.Words toward the top are

Clicking the visualize button can create a design such as

A third alternative is designed for kids and is very simple to operate. It can be found at http://www.abcya.com/word_clouds.htm

Very quickly I was able to generate this word cloud.

No matter which word cloud you use, here are seven ideas to use in your classroom.

  • Create a word cloud to represent a character, chapter, or theme in a book or short story.
  • Create a word cloud to summarize a presentation, video, or lecture.
  • Create vocabulary wordless with synonym, definitions, antonyms, and related words
  • Discussion springboard. Student selects a word from the cloud to speak about it.
  • Analyze a famous speech/document by making a word cloud from the text and determine the important ideas
  • Use a word cloud to introduce a unit or lesson. Students view a word cloud to get an overview of the content.
  • Use a word cloud as an icebreaker or chance to know each other better. Ask a question and each student writes an answer on their word cloud. Pair students and have them introduce each other by telling about the word cloud of another. (Sample questions–What is your favorite fast food location? Who is your role model? What is your favorite free time activity?

Try this differentiated passage available from my TPT store. After students read one of the three leveled passages and answer the comprehension questions, then create a word cloud.

Click on the cover to go to the product on TPT.