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Apr 16

8 Fantastic Ways to Use Word Clouds

 

 8 Fantastic Ways to Use Word Clouds

Making word clouds is not only a fun activity for students, but also a great tool for teaching difficult concepts. You can use creating word clouds as a “Hook” activity for a lesson, as a mid-lesson teaching tool, or to summarize a concept.

Before beginning a class project, check out the different websites that offer word clouds. They offer slightly different variations.

Sites for Creating Word Clouds

 

Here are a few things you may want to try:

 

#1 Figurative Language ~ Onomatopoeia

Fun Ways to Use Word Clouds

Have students create a word cloud with onomatopoeic words. The word onomatopoeia must be added to the word list four to five times for it to appear larger than the others on the finished product. The definition for onomatopoeia must be added to the list three to four times, so it will be larger than the word onomatopoeia yet smaller than the other words.

 

Figurative Language ~ Idioms and/or Proverbs

Fun Ways to Use Word Clouds

Have students select a topic that relates to something you have been studying. For example, if you are reading The Mouse and the Motorcycle or The Tales of Despereaux, you might select mice. Students should research to find a list of idioms or proverbs relating to your topic. Make a word web in the shape of your topic. The example above was created using Tagxedo using idioms and proverbs related to cats.

#2 Classroom Favorites

Create a word cloud with student favorites. This could be everything from best school lunch, favorite ball teams, most liked class read novel, etc.

 

#3 Prefixes or Suffixes

Fun Ways to Use Word Clouds

This simple word cloud contains four prefixes with a list of 3 to 4 words beginning with each prefix. My fourth grade students created word clouds like this one.

 

#4 Root Words

Fun Ways to Use Word Clouds

Have each student in the class select one root word to highlight. Here the root “SPEC” is shown.

 

#5 Vocabulary  

Fun Ways to Use Word Clouds

You can use word clouds to feature just one word as in the example above or place your entire list of words into a word cloud. Either way, the results will turn out fantastic. Some variations might include listing synonyms or antonyms of a word. Select a word; then list shades of meaning. For example, billionaire ~ loaded ~ wealthy ~ affluent ~ well-off This example would look great in the shape of a dollar sign.

 

#6 Story Elements

Fun Ways to Use Word Clouds

Character Traits ~ This is an image of Winn-Dixie from the book Because of Winn-Dixie. To give you an idea about how a list of phrases will look, here is the list that was added to create this image:

  • best~dog~ever
  • big
  • loyal
  • friendly
  • has many friends
  • listens to music
  • loves stories
  • eats peanut butter sandwiches
  • afraid of thunder storms

Setting ~ You could create a similar word cloud using words that describe a book’s setting.

 

#7 Parts of Speech

Create word clouds with all nouns, verbs, adjectives, and so on.

 

#8 Get to Know You

Fun Ways to Use Word Clouds

At Tagxedo you can upload your own images. A great back-to-school night activity is to have each student upload of his/her picture. Students then list words that describe their personalities. Display these on a bulletin board. Parents will have a great time trying to spot their child.

Gay Miller

 

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