I am rediscovering my love for word clouds and thought I would share a few ways to use them in the classroom! But first, a quick explanation: tagxedo.com is a word cloud creator. You put in the words that you want to appear in the picture OR you enter the URL of a website. The more times a word appears in a document, the bigger it will be in the word cloud. Below is a word cloud I made using the URL for this blog. The largest words are TECHNOLOGY, INTEGRATING, GENIUS HOUR, BLOGGING, LEARN AND LEARNER. That is because those are the words that I use the most when I write my blog!
3 ways you can use word clouds with your students:
1. In September I have them do an All About Me picture. I tell them to type in their name 10 times (so it will be the largest) and then have them type in words that describe themselves. This is a great ways to get to know your students, for them to get to know each other and also gives you something to decorate the room with at the start of the year. Last year, I made word clouds with all of the grades 5s and 6s at my school and we decorated the whole computer lab. In my example below I used my name, interests, hobbies etc.
2. You can use them to create title pages. I had them put all of the words that they thought had to do with science and then we printed them and put them at the beginning of our Science Duotangs. They looked so great! And it also got them thinking about what science really is. I made this example using wikipedia's definition of science.
3. Students can use them to make visual representations of their poetry. They would type up their poems and could then add to their poetry booklets OR save the jpeg of their cloud and put on their ePortfolios, blogs, etc.
There are so many other ways to use this cool web 2.0 tool (character study, mother's day cards...the list goes on and on...) If you haven't played around with word clouds yet, I suggest you do...a perfect rainy day activity for the summer break & we get lots of those here in the Lower Mainland ;)