Wordle at Work in the Classroom

So you've experienced word clouds via Wordle; now let's explore how we can use word clouds to support instruction!

  • Vocabulary – enter in the vocabulary for a unit and display for students to discuss what they know, what they don’t know, etc.
  • People – Take a biography of a famous person and have the student make inferences about what kind of person this is and what important things did they do? Or have student write about themselves and turn it into a wordle as a way to learn more about them.
  • Unit/ Syllabus – make it more interesting – ask what do you think you are going to learn about in this unit.

  • Author’s Diction – Take a passage from the reading and have students analyze word choice before reading the passage.
  • Reading Passage– Based on the word cloud have students:
    • predict main ideas;
    • write a title for the passage;
    • identify vocabulary that is unfamiliar.
  • Survey Data – copy and paste survey data in to see what the reoccurring ideas are.
  • Lyrics of a song.
  • Current events.

  • Poster of class rules or school expectations as a way to review.
  • Character Map – as a class brainstorm words that describe a character (or historical figure) and create a word cloud for that person. You can do the same for additional characters and ask why do we have more information about one character over another.
  • A Word Cloud Word Wall – enter in the vocabulary term multiple times to make it larger and then the definition – print to place on the wall.
  • Poster from an essay.

Other Applications:
  • Summarize a Famous Speech – what ideas are important.
  • Generate Ideas for Research – take an article about a topic and create a word cloud. From that word cloud have students generate research ideas for further study.
  • Compare and Contrast – 2 word clouds from two different passages or different points of view.
  • Writing Prompt: Have students begin to write based on the word cloud. Clouds could be based on vocabulary from the unit, a passage, a poem, etc.
  • Guided Reading: Take 2 sections from a text and create a word cloud. Have students decide what passage comes first and why.

Remember, you don't have to use Wordle to create word clouds. For example, if you want to create a cloud of math formulas, you can make your own cloud in an image editing program such as GIMP.

Source: These ideas came from Robin's Technology Tips blog. Visit this site for numerous articles on the subject of educational technology.

YOUR Wordle Ideas:

  • In a class last summer, the instructor used Wordle for an affective assessment. We each answered a question like "What has your school experience been like?" or "What do you think of math?," and our answers were displayed in a Wordle. (Tanya Smith)
  • Add your idea to the list...