Wordle: Word Cloud Generator

WHAT IS WORDLE?

Wordle is an online application that generates word clouds from text entered in a textbox. The clouds arrange the text by size (words that appear more often are larger) and in colorful patterns. Individuals can personalize the clouds by altering fonts, layouts, and color schemes. This application allows students to display texts (essays, articles, even websites/blogs) visually. It also allows students to assess the prevalence of words. For example, when President Obama’s inauguration speech was entered into Wordle, the largest (and thus most prevalent) words were: new, nation, and America. This kind of analysis could lead students to interesting debates on texts and diction within these texts.

HOW WAS WORDLE RATED?
For information about rating scales, click here

Resource Overall ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Student Response ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Repeatability ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Ease of Use ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Set-Up Time ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Tech Skills ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

WHO REVIEWED WORDLE?

Iliana Sanchez
Baltimore, Maryland

For nine days my class used Wordle every morning in correlation with their morning journals. They would answer the morning journal topic and then would type up their journals on Wordle. For the first lesson, I used a student’s journal and modeled it. The objective of the task was to get my students to self-evaluate their vocabulary strengths. As days progressed, students became more interested with the wordle dynamic and began to “critically think” before writing in order to have their wordle become more “vocabulary aware” and “a true reflection of their writing potential.”

For one session, I used six different journal entries in order to see the group’s vocabulary strengths. This activity seemed to be particularly exciting because students were interested in seeing how “powerful and/or redundant” their vocabulary could be.

Students enjoyed this resource and found it to be “artsy” and “fun.” Although the task had vocabulary involvement, students were too concerned with the Wordle final product. After a few days of practicing, students started to realize that flow and organization mattered with this activity too. Some students complained they “couldn’t type so fast,” and sometimes became frustrated.

Linda Abrams
Baltimore, Maryland

My 8th grade Social Studies students used vocabulary and other words that related to their unit of study, World War I, to make Wordles. Students have had experience with Wordle and were reminded how to make the words they thought were important stand out.

I give my students time to “play around” and explore first, then make their final good copy. Once the students were finished, they were required to capture a screenshot, copy and edit into a PowerPoint slide, and then save the slide as a jpg file. It was useful to show the students a completed Wordle so that they understand what the final product looks like.

My students enjoy using Wordle and frequently ask in computer class if they can work with it.


TIPS FOR CLASSROOM IMPLEMENTATION:

  • For diverse learners, it might be a good idea to type their entries for them.
  • As some of the technology skills that are required may be difficult, spend some time prior to the lesson introducing/reviewing the skills.
  • Using a similar but more user friendly application for younger students is advisable, such as Word Clouds for Kids.
  • Knowing how fast your students can type is imperative.
  • Plan in advance based on the amount of computers in your classroom because each student should be able to do his/her own Wordle.
  • Get students to write their entries first and then transfer them onto Wordle. It is advisable that the students write their list as a document; that way if they do not like the way the Wordle turned out or made a mistake, the words are easy to retrieve.
  • Students need to be aware of how to connect a string of words together using the tilde key. In addition, there should be no spaces between the tilde and the words. Words that are to be prominent in size are repeated.
  • The completed Wordle is not saved, therefore, if the students close the application, it will be lost.
  • The main page of Wordle has a display of completed Wordles that may not be appropriate. Therefore, refer the students to go directly to the Create page.
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  1. […] like Wordle, Tagxedo is a word-cloud generating program. Tagxedo takes texts from documents, from online input, […]



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