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If you aren't familiar with Wordle, it is a tool that generates "word clouds" from text that your provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can play with fonts, colors, and layouts to personalize your word cloud, save it to a gallery, or print it out.

I came across Wordle some time ago, thought it was pretty nifty, and then forgot about it. An article in the August 2009 issue of Learning & Leading with Technology ("Words in a Cloud" by Samantha Morra) made me reflect on the power of this fun tool. In the article, Morra describes using Wordle with her middle school students to visually analyze important documents, such as the Declaration of Independence. I began thinking about science and math class and wondered if the tool might help students identify the main concepts of a passage. However, I don't have access to any middle school textbooks to test this out!

Do you use Wordle in your classroom? How?

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Comment by Jessica Fries-Gaither on September 8, 2009 at 9:24am
Debra, thanks for the great idea! I never considered using it as a professional tool. Thanks for sharing with us!
Comment by Debra Garcia on September 5, 2009 at 12:31pm
I have used it in class to help with vocabulary review as well but I have also used it to simply help me with key points in standards. By copying multiple connected standards into Wordle, I can sometimes "see" the big ideas within them from the word cloud or the key content points that stand out the most and then develop my units around them.I know others have done this too like Glen Westbroek.

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