Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Tech Tac Toe: Word Clouds

Word clouds are another great tool for visual learners.  A word cloud takes a selection of text and organizes it into a design.  The really cool thing about word clouds is that the size of each word is based upon the frequency it appears in the text.  One can customize the shape, font, and color of a cloud (based upon the application used).  There are many word cloud generators to chose from, but I like Tagul and Wordle best.  Making a word cloud is a simple as copying and pasting a selection of text into the chosen generator.

Here is a word cloud I created using Tagul, and I customized it based upon the subject. Can you guess what this word cloud is about?  

It is based upon a project I organized (#KidsSavetheEarth) encouraging kids to understand how humans can impact the Earth and create and share ways they can improve our Earth.  Pretty neat, huh?

Below is another word cloud I created using Wordle.  This cloud contains words from this blog. Wordle does not offer the variety of customization that Tagul does, but I like its classic simplicity.

Word clouds are easy to use, and a great way for students to be creative with the presentation of their writing.  They also allow students to see the message of a text by identifying the most prominent words in the cloud.  Creating a word cloud would be a good choice for an introduce yourself/welcome activity at the beginning of the school year, or even for students to demonstrate what they know in a non-conventional way.


  1. Great Word Clouds! I used to use word clouds for every season when we had access to Wordle. The students loved to put words into the shapes and it was a great way to expand their vocabulary. We will have to try Tagul, though I miss the shapes.

  2. I love that you demonstrated two different tools. Both have different features and different looks but are appropriate. Word clouds are a nice easy tech win!