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?