Word Cloud Creators & Reading Vocabulary:macaw.jpg
A unique way to look at words, vocabulary, word choice, content in text passages, etc is using a word cloud. A number of free tools are available to create a word cloud or word cluster using text that is either typed or copied and pasted to input at a web site for a word cloud/cluster. All of these tools would address the following:
  • 21st Century Skill: Communication, Creativity & Innovation
  • Best Practice: Marzano--homework & practice, graphic representation
  • Reading Goal: Vocabulary development

Here are a few of the more popular ones:

1. Wordle: www.wordle.net
Wordle is a word cloud generator. The more times that the word is included in the text, the larger it becomes in the word cloud that is created. Teachers have copied and pasted student text into Wordle to spotlight the frequently used words, they have also used Wordle as a tool to create a visual thesaurus of synonyms. Video Demonstration From ESU#3 on How to Use Wordle

2. Tagxedo: http://www.tagxedo.com/app.html
This unique tool turns words that you copy and paste (or link) into fun, exciting and "stunning" tag/word clouds or clusters. When working on vocabulary the word clouds can be used for word definitions, synonyms, opposites, analogies, etc

3. Word It Out: http://worditout.com/
A very simple word cloud/word cluster creator. Some may prefer this simple tool to illustrate a word through the use of like words, definitions, etc.

4. Image Chef--Word Mosaic: http://www.imagechef.com/ic/word_mosaic/
Rather than creating a word cloud--this tool creates a word cluster that can be put into a corresponding shape that fits with the word. Think about using the word/definition/shape to illustrate a word so that students will remember it.

Here is a blog entry from and educator on the use of Word Clouds: http://vocablog-plc.blogspot.com/