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What is a word cloud? Word cloud also known as tag cloud or weighted list is a visual representation for text data, typically used to depict keyword metadata (tags) on websites, or to visualize free form text. (Wikipedia)
How to: Quite easy.. just explain what a word cloud is and then show them an example and that’s it .
I asked my little students to create a word cloud with their favorite English words looking at their notebooks just before saying good-bye to the first term.
I believe and experienced that making word clouds is a very fun and colorful work to do which makes vocabulary learning more engaging, and it also serves great as a writing homework or revision.
Below you can see an example word cloud from a little student of mine and the topic was ‘ My favorite English words I learned this term’. Please ignore the spelling mistakes 🙂
When we finished making word clouds, we put them to our English corner so that everyone could check the others’ work. They were also to find the spelling mistakes their peers might have made.
What I did with my students was a paper work. You can also make word clouds using web tools such as;
- Wordle.net It’s simple, fun and creative. To create a wordle, simply go to Wordle.net, enter in the RSS feed for a blog or text, hit submit and let the site do the rest. After creating the wordle, users are able to customize the look of it. Options range from color to size and shape.
- WordItOut is the word cloud generator that gives you control with many custom settings. Free to use and no sign up required.
- TagCrowd specializes in making word clouds easy to read, analyze and compare, for a variety of useful purposes
- Tagxedo turns words – famous speeches, news articles, slogans and themes, even your love letters – into a visually stunning word cloud.
- ABCya.com word clouds for kids.
- ToCloud is an online free word cloud generator that uses word frequency as the weight. Hence, the generated word cloud of a page gives a quick understanding of how the page is optimized for certain words.
- TagCloud Generator an generate your tag clouds in html and flash online with just a few steps in downloadable form.
- ImageChef you can create a different styled and shaped word cloud and send to your friends etc as a post card.
HOW TO USE WORDLE IN THE CLASSROOM
If you are interested in using word cloud in your teaching, have a look below to see Tom Barrett’s work. He has great ideas on how to use wordle in the classroom.