Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Web Resource: Word Clouds

A word cloud is a visual depiction of the main words and ideas of a text. Word clouds evolved from Tag Clouds, which are commonly used to depict the content of websites. is a free (and addictive) way to create Word Clouds. A teacher or student simply needs to copy and paste text, select font and display preferences, and Wordle generates a word cloud. Here are some examples:

This fantastic interactive page from The New York Times uses world clouds to guide readers through every inaugural address by a U.S. President.

Word clouds are no substitute for the actual reading of a text, but they can provide a powerful visual preview of text and aid students in making predictions and forming questions.

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