wordle. It just sounds fun! Wordle is a free application you can use, and you don't even need an account at their site! (www.wordle.net) I also watched a free tutorial video that showed me how to use the site and gave me some great ideas for ways to use it in teaching. How fun is that!
In a nutshell, wordle takes any group of words; a document, poem, speech, blog or any other group and finds the most prominent words. It takes those words and makes them into an interesting word picture, or word cloud. The wordle above was created from this blog. You can change fonts, color schemes etc or just let the program do it for you.
One interesting application for wordle would be to use it as a tool for comparing and contrasting ideas. You could enter the text from a speech made by Woodrow Wilson and create a wordle, then create another one using the text from a speech made by Teddy Roosevelt. Have your children put the two wordles side by side and compare and contrast what they see. Below I have an example of a wordle made from the encyclopedia text on an entry for mammals and one for reptiles:
Try having your child take a poem she has written or a list of vocabulary words and making a wordle. The possibilities are endless! Since I just love words and I'm a little bit of an artsy gal who loves design, I think this is really great. (And so, of course, I HAD to share it!!)
Loving learning with your kiddos,