Word Clouds for Younger Grades

Word clouds are a fun way to present words visually.

Kindergarten/PreK teachers can create posters to put up around the classroom as they teach the letter(s) of the week. A great site for this is ImageChef. Here's an example I created of the letter S made up of all sorts of age-appropriate words that begin with the letter S.

How do you do this? Choose "Word Mosaic". Click on the Initials tab. Type in the letter you want to work with. Type all of the words that start with that letter that you want to use in the text box. Choose the Font style you like from the drop down menu. Click on Preview to see your creation. If you want to save the image to your computer, click on Export...choose an image size...right-click and save the image to your computer or drag the image to your desktop. To make a poster, insert the image into Word, Publisher, or some other program.

First and second grade students can easily create word clouds of their own. You might want to start with a site like Wordle, a very easy site to use. I've had the first and second graders create Mother's Day word clouds similar to the one here to give as a gift. They had fun choosing the layout, fonts, and colors to really personalize it for their mom.

How do you do this? You might want to brainstorm possible words to use before you begin this activity. Then have those words available on a handout or projected somewhere in your classroom. Type your words in the text box. Remember that in Wordle, the size of a word is determined by the number of times it is typed in the text box. Click GO when you have finished adding words. To personalize your word cloud, you can select options from the Font, Layout, and Color tabs. When your word cloud is finished, you can print it. One downside of Wordle is that you can't download the finished image. To get around this, I use PrintScreen to copy the whole desktop and then paste it into Paint. Then crop the excess and save the image.

Once the younger students have mastered the art of creating a word cloud in Wordle, you could have the third, fourth, and fifth grade students use a site like Tagxedo to create something a little more advanced. Since it is winter, we are going to create snowflake word clouds like the one here. The students are reading Snowflake Bentley and learning how each snowflake is unique. These snowflake word clouds will represent each unique student in our class.

How do you do this? Have the students create a list of words that describe themselves. Choose the snowflake shape from the Shapes menu. Click on Load... under the Words category. Type the words in the text box (not the webpage box). To personalize the look of the snowflake, students can adjust the color, font, layout, etc... When you are ready to finish, download the image to your computer by clicking on Save|Share|Print.

Have fun creating these visuals to post in the classroom, to give as gifts, or to reinforce concepts learned in class!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for following my site. I am now following you too. I love this post! So many educational possibilities with these tools!!