Word Clouds - Wordle & Tagxedo
Word Clouds are something that have been around the internet and education for years. They seem to not be very popular anymore, but I found them particularly useful while teaching language arts for characterization. For my current Academically Talented classes, I find word clouds useful for identifying the essentials of a historical event, individual, or time period. The first site that I knew for making Word Clouds was http://www.wordle.net/. I'm actually not very fond of Wordle. The site often has technical glitches and doesn't always work for my students, or if it does work, may lose their word lists. A site my students have had more success with, and provides more creative control over the word cloud itself is http://www.tagxedo.com/. Tagxedo is neat because it lets students alter their word cloud into any shape they want. I used Tagxedo with my 7th grade READ180 class at the beginning of the year to create characterization word clouds for characters in Wonder by R.J. Palacio. Tagxedo provides students with several preset shapes, such as stars or continents, but also gives students the ability to import a picture which provides the basis for a new shape. One of my students imported the image of Auggie on the cover of Wonder for their Auggie word cloud which added another level to their work.