How I Use It
I use a Wordle with a passage of text kids can copy/paste from the internet. I often use it as a pre-reading strategy. Kids take the passage and create a Wordle, noting which words appeared the largest or were repeated. We discuss the meanings of those words and predict how they might be important to the passage. We generally read the passage and discuss it and then revisit the Wordle to see if we can infer any themes given the reading and the words appearing on the Wordle. It's fun. It's different. It breaks up a close reading into chunks of instructional time. It's creative. It's something that acts as a scaffold for low readers or an ability to get creative and think differently for the high readers. A definite two thumbs up!
A "Wordle," or word cloud, takes the most frequently found words in a passage and does and displays them creatively in a size that is proportional to their frequency of use. It doesn't sort the little, unimportant words like "the" and "or." A Wordle by itself is just a pretty display of words. You can rearrange the orientation of the words, the font, the number of words shown, the background colors. Imagine the Declaration of Independence displayed in a poster form key words displayed artistically? It's cool. But without a teacher led discussion...it might just only be cool looking. A drawback: to save a Wordle you have to take a screen shot or print it for posterity sake. It would be pretty awesome if you could save it in a digital image form (jpg, png, tiff).