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URL http://www.wordle.net/
Description "Wordle is a toy for generating 'word clouds' from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends." 
  1. Go to http://www.wordle.net/create.
  2. There are two ways to enter your selected text to create a word cloud:
    1. Paste or type it into the text box. (Hint: To keep words together as a phrase, use the tilde ~ symbol between them like this "word~clouds~are~fun.")

    2. Enter the URL of any webpage or blog that has an Atom or RSS feed.
  3. Select the Randomize button to randomly change the font, layout and colors of your image.  You may also use the menu options in the upper-left corner of the window to select these components individually.
  4. If you want to save the image for offline use, you will need to do a screen capture. Go to http://eduscapes.com/tap/topic7.htm for step-by-step instructions.  


Suggested Inquiry Activities

Use with students for a beginning brainstorming activity at the start of a unit.

Teacher expectations and student expectations for the beginning of the year can be placed into Wordle to have focus points for the year.

Focuses your brainstorming on key themes and ideas.

Student characteristics of a classroom ( Ex: Students make a list of the characteristics of a person and then the wordle then gives a snapshot of who those people are.) 

Analyze poetry by placing portions of the text into Wordle. Wordle will assist students with pulling out main ideas from text.

Use as an assessment check to see if students have met standards (Example: Have the students list the 5 main themes they have learned about at the end of a unit. The Wordle will give you a basic idea of if your standards have been referenced, and what key words /ideas are targeted).

Can be used as a comparison and contrast activity for two documents placed into Wordle to see what words are the same and different. (Example: place the presidential inaugural addresses into Wordle and see the enduring themes that represent the eras and the United States over time.)


What Teachers Like About Wordle




Teacher Tips For Using the Tool




Common Core State Standards






ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) NETS Standards





AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner

Media Sharing

  • 2.1.4 - Use technology and other information tools to organize and display knowledge and und understanding in ways that others can view, use and assess.

  • 3.3.4 - Create products that apply to authentic, real-world context
  • 4.1.8 - Use creative and artistic formats to express personal learning



NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) Standards



Primary Sources Example

Wordle was used to visually compare the words from the Cherokee Constitution with the words from the U.S. Constitution.  First, the text from the Cherokee Constitution was copied into the input field in the Wordle web application.  A Wordle image was created.  The "Randomize" button was used to alter the colors, font, and layout of the image.  The same process was used for the text of the U.S. Constitution.





Getting Started

Creating word clouds with Wordle




"TagCrowd is a web application for visualizing word frequencies in any user-supplied text by creating what is popularly known as a tag cloud or text cloud."


Tagxedo turns words -- famous speeches, news articles, slogans and themes, even your love letters -- into a visually stunning tag cloud, words individually sized appropriately to highlight the frequencies of occurrence within the body of text.


Example: http://www.tagxedo.com/app.html?player=http://www.tagxedo.com/gallery/lincoln.xap 


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