Today’s idea uses the projector and your computer connection.  Word clouds are a visual representation of the chosen text.

The more often a word appears in a text, the larger the word will appear in the cloud. Word clouds also fit in nicely with Marzano’s “Nonlinguistic Representation” being a strategy that works in classrooms instruction.


There are 2 internet sites that make word cloud creation very simple:

Wordle: – Creates freeform clouds and can be printed, saved to a public gallery, or you can take a screen shot of the image to use in classes later.

Tagxedo – creates word clouds in different shapes, colors, fonts, etc.  You can create straight from a websites, copy and paste text from any source, or type original text into the creator.  Results are interactive and can be saved as a jpeg or png file.

Ways to use this in your classroom:

  1. Introduce:
    • Vocabulary – enter in the vocabulary for a unit and display for students to discuss what they know, what they don’t know, etc.
    • People –   Take a biography of a famous person and have the student make inferences about what kind of person this is and what important things did they do?  Or have student write about themselves and turn it into a wordle as a way to learn more about them.
    • Unit/ Syllabus – make it more interesting – ask what do you think you are going to learn about in this unit
  2. Analyze:
    • Author’s Diction – Take a passage from the reading and have students analyze word choice before reading the passage.
    • A Reading Passage:  Based on the word cloud have students:
      • predict main ideas
      • write a title for the passage
      • identify vocabulary that is unfamiliar
    • Survey Data – copy and paste survey data in to see what the reoccurring ideas are.
    • Lyrics of a song
    • Current Events
  3. Create:
    • Poster of class rules or school expectations as a way to review
    • Character Map – as a class brainstorm words that describe a character (or historical figure) and create a word cloud for that person.  You can do the same for additional characters and ask  why do we have more information about one character over another.
    • A Word Cloud Word Wall – enter in the vocabulary term multiple times to make it larger and then the definition – print to place on the wall.
    • Poster from an Essay
  4. Summarize a Famous Speech – what ideas are important
  5. Generate Ideas for Research – take an article about a topic and create a word cloud.  From that word cloud have students generate research ideas for further study.
  6. Compare and Contrast – 2 word clouds from two different passages or different points of view
  7. Writing Prompt: Have students being to write based on the word cloud.  Clouds could be based on vocabulary from the unit, a passage, a poem, etc.
  8. Guided Reading: Take 2 sections from a text and create a word cloud.  Have students decide what passage comes first and why.


For more information and ideas about word clouds in the classroom check out: