Saturday, July 04, 2009


Wordle is a fun way to play with words and design. The site shows the frequency of words used in text and arranges them in a layout of your choice. This is called a Word Cloud. The larger the word the more it has been repeated in the text. Wordle allows you to apply design techniques such as layout, colour schemes and fonts.

You can copy and paste text straight into the site or type in your own words, however, it is wise to plan first in a word document and then copy and paste. When the word cloud has been created students can produce a screen capture and paste into an image editor, document or power point.

Wordle can be used in many ways in education.

Here are some ideas:

1. About Me:

Learn more about your students by asking them to create a word cloud containing information about their likes, hobbies, interests, favourite shows, movies, music, food, friends, family and personality traits.

2. Classmates:

Create a poster with the names of the students in your class.

3. Subject poster:

Create a poster to advertise your subject or outline aspects of your class. Create your own or copy text from a syllabus or work program.

4. Glossary of terms:

Paste in a glossary of terms related to a topic or subject or generate a glossary of terms.

5. Text analysis:

Analyse the use of words in different texts by copying and pasting into the wordle site. Text may come from an article, poem, novel, play, document or website.

6. Classroom Rules:

Adapt classroom rules to look interesting and focus on the important words.

7. Analyse an artwork:

Students can paste the text they have created about an artwork or paste in an art review found on a website and investigate repeated words and their meanings.

8. Compare texts:

Compare different texts by creating word clouds and investigate the use of different words.

9. Brainstorm a topic:

Students can brainstorm a topic by generating as many related words as they can. It is a useful tool to introduce a new unit.

10. Character Traits:

Generate words related to a character in a book, game, television show, movie or play.

11. Text in Art:

Students can explore the use of text in art by using the wordle format and draw their own word cloud focusing on elements and principles or design. The wordle design can also be adapted to printmaking activities such as screen printing or lino printing.

12. Thesaurus:

Choose a word and then explore and include words of similar meaning.

13. Languages other than English:

Use the site to allow students to generate words in another language or how to say a word or phrase in different languages, such as Hello.

14. Design Elements:

Use as a task to learn design elements focusing on contrasting colours, appropriate colour schemes, effective layout, the importance of background colour and the use of fonts.

15. Song Lyrics:

Paste in the lyrics from a song

16. Own work:

Students can paste in any text of their own such as essays and assignments to reveal words which are important or used too often.


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