What in the Word? Wordle in the Classroom

Worlde is a free Web 2.0 website to create visual word clouds.  Students and teachers can paste text such as papers, notes, or even text from a webpage and the words are then arranged into a picture with the words that are used the most appearing more prominently on the page.  Students can then change the font type, font size, color, and choose various word layouts and variations.  Students can then either print their results or save their results to the gallery.  When the student saves their results, a link is created that can then be shared online via email or they can use the embed code to integrate it on another website like a class website or blog.


Students will be engaged using this technology.  Teachers can share Worldes with their students or students can create their own Wordles based on a class activity to then share with the class.  One great part about Worlde is that there is no need for students to create an account and it is very easy to use even for elementary school students.

Classroom Activities for Wordle

Transforming words into a visual display can help students with many language arts and communication skills.  For example, students can visually see the main idea of a story, the most frequently used words used in a student paper for vocabulary extension, to show the important concepts to be covered for an assignment by turning the directions into a Wordle, or for a comparison and contrast on two pieces of literature.  This can definitely help with differentiated instruction for special needs students.

There are many resources available online that have inventive ideas for incorporating Wordle in the classroom.  One presentation called 50 Ways and Tips to Use Wordle in the Classroom provides ideas of how students and teachers can use Wordle in the classroom.  Here is another resource link of 20 more ways to use Wordle in the classroom.

One example is to input a chapter or section from a book or poem and create a Wordle.  Students can then view the Wordle and have a class discussion on the literary choices, vocabulary, main idea, or word choices of the author.  Another activity idea would be for the teacher to input student papers (without name) to share with the other students in the class.  Topics could be covered about word choice, frequency of words, students could try to determine the topic of the paper or provide feedback via constructive criticism.

An idea for the beginning of the school year would be for a teacher to create a Wordle based on classroom expectations or a syllabus.  The more prominent words would then display the importance of the words used in the documents.  A creative hands-on way to use Wordle is to use it while developing a classroom poll.  For example, ask students what their favorite colors are and enter the text as they respond.  After all of the students respond you then show the results to the students and then they can visually see which answer was selected the most and the least.  It could also be used as an activity to have students guess what they will be learning about or to guess who has written the piece.

There are so many creative ways to use Wordle in the classroom.  Have you used Wordle in your classroom?  Feel free to comment and share your Wordle activities.

Article By Laura Ketcham

Free Teacher Resources | Special Education by MangoMon by MangoMon

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