If you're new to the whole word cloud idea, here's my explanation of a wordle:
It’s a word cloud generated online. You put in text of your own, and Wordle does the rest. It’s fun to play, generating different fonts, colours and lay outs. The randomize button generates many different configurations of your very own wordle. There’s a gallery at the Wordle website to see others’ creations, a forum (some spam there, supervision necessary), and an associated blog by the Wordle creator, Jonathan Feinberg.
What use are wordles? Here are some of my ideas:
- After kids have played with Wordle, consider using it as a way for them to revise/learn spelling words.
- Wordles could be created with family members’ names, and form the basis for cards or calendars.
- Baby’s first words would make an interesting wordle.
- Beginning readers might like to make a wordle of their recently learnt sight words.
- For writers who are just starting out, a wordle can be a fun schematic representation of their favourite words.
- You could use a wordle for labels in a room, or name tags. Just type in one word!
- Generate a wordle with each student's name in it, print and paste it onto your classroom door as an introduction.
- Have kids list the things they like, then manipulate the wordle by repeating text to give it larger font. This would be an interesting activity to do with favourite books, movies, songs, friends' names etc.
I also figured out how to use Wordle Advanced today. In the second box down, put your word/words followed by a colon, next to that add the number of times you want the word repeated, followed by a colon, then add the colour as a hexadecimal colour code. So for instance, to make the red BookChook in my second image, I typed:BookChook:50:FF0000.
Find more ideas from Terry Freedman at The Educational Technology Site: ICT in Education, in Larry Ferlazzo's article, The Best Resources for Learning about Word Clouds, and from Lisa MacKenzie at Ideas For Teachers.
Why not make a word cloud with your kids and use it as a card? You could use family names, greetings in other languages, favourite quotes or seasonal words like I did.