- When reading information texts, one of the strategies that we teach students is to draw out keywords. The identification of keywords can help students establish context, identify writing conventions, makes connections, and develop a general understanding of the text. To use word clouds simply copy and paste text into the text box on www.wordle.net and the site will generate a word cloud. I have done this with a speech by Barack Obama on the topic of race and the word cloud that it generated was a beautiful text that captures the new president's ideals and hope (see word cloud below).
- Another idea is to have the students respond to the word clouds as texts. Create or find a word cloud and have students discuss it. Students will be able to explore the text's tone, topics, and voice. In addition, students can creatively make meaning from these texts.
- Word clouds can also be used to help students write. Create or find an imaginative word cloud and have students write a story inspired by the word cloud. This is incredibly effective as you'll see when you explore wordle.net because you'll be inspired to write.
- Most contemporary English Language curriculums require students to create media texts. A word cloud is a unique and aesthetic text that students can compose to express complex ideas and thoughts.