Word Clouds: using Wordle, Text is Beautiful, and Tagxego

Word clouds can be used in many different ways and in all subjects. It can help students understand important aspects of a topic, show students how to take good notes based on the most important words or phrases in the text, and students will realize which words go with a part of speech. Word clouds can be created by using Wordle, Text is Beautiful, or Tagxedo. A word cloud is the collection of words generated based on submitted text and programs like Wordle, Text is Beautiful, and Tagxedo are used to create word clouds.

Word cloud’s can also be used in all subjects, for example in social studies a word cloud could be created about the major ideas of an event.  Word clouds can improve students’ writing, by creating visual data, and comparing oratorical messages. Major aspects of an event can be easily found with word clouds, which enables students to understand each concept.

Example of Wordle

Word cloud made with Wordle

When looking at Wordle’s website you can see there are multiple ways to create and make a Wordle more appealing. Wordle’s website will take you step by step on how to create a Wordle. It is the most generic of the three websites that I decided to talk about but for younger students it’s a great way to introduce the concept of word clouds to them. If these steps are confusing then you can also go to Wordle: Building Word Clouds to clarify any other questions. By clicking on the picture to the right it will take you to a blog post called “3 Ways to Use Wordle for More Than Fluff”, which will show you tips on how to use Wordle. In the slideshow below there are other great ideas and tips on how to use it.   

Concept Web

Word Cloud created with Text is Beautiful: Concept Web

Concept Cloud

Word Cloud Created with Text is Beautiful: Concept Cloud

Correlation Wheel

Word Cloud made with Text is Beautiful: Correlation Wheel

In another website, Text is Beautiful, there are 3 different types of word clouds that can be made: Concept Cloud, Concept Web, and a Correlation Wheel. This is different from Wordle because it only gives you one option. Each of Text if Beautiful’s options include a different display or layout which you can choose from. The website will explain how to create your word cloud through a few easy steps and once you’re finish you have three options which is already generated by Text is Beautiful. A post, Beyond Word Clouds – Part 2 shows examples of various ways each type of word cloud can be created from Text is Beautiful.

Tagxedo

Word Cloud Created with Tagxedo

My personal favorite website out of the three has to be Tagxedo. There are many fun ways to display ideas and thoughts but on the downside younger students may get distracted more easily. Just like the other two sites this is a very easy step-by-step website that will allow students to have even more freedom to choose how they would like to display their information. You have more freedom  to choose how you want to display your word cloud as well as more themes whereas the other two websites are more generic and automatically create them for you. A blog post, Tagxedo – Creating Word Clouds with Style, gives an overview of some of the major aspects that can go into creating a word cloud through Tagxedo. When I was exploring Teagxedo I got caught up in all of the excitement and took more time than I should have creating a word cloud, but the one that I created is now my wallpaper on my laptop.

All three websites are very easy to use and fun to work with but I would introduce the youngest students into Wordle, then go into Text is Beautiful, and the oldest students would use Tagxedo. If you have any others ideas that word clouds could be used please comment! Also feel free to ask questions or post comments on my blog!

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12 Responses to Word Clouds: using Wordle, Text is Beautiful, and Tagxego

  1. Tabitha C. says:

    I have used Wordle before and think it is super helpful. I often accidentally use the same words over and over again in my papers, so pasting my whole essay into Wordle to see which words I have used too much…it’s a really quick way to proofread and shows you something important you might miss otherwise!

  2. Angie E. says:

    Great job Chelsea! I have seen products of programs like these, but never realized how easy they could be to use. I can see some younger students using Wordle to practice sight words and vocabulary, as well as main ideas of stories they have read. I think this is a great way to intoduce note-taking. Students would be working on their typing and organizational skills, as well as practicing how to sort out important information from trivial. As I saw your post I was thinking that these programs could make some great dorm decorations! And I love that you made a new wallpaper with Tagxedo.

  3. Anna B. says:

    Hey Chelsea! These tools seem really awesome! I have never heard of them before, and honestly I had never thought about using word clouds in my classroom as teaching or assessment tools. I really enjoyed the powerpoint you embedded into this post- it had some really great ideas! My favorites were the word clouds about the state and the book jacket project where you have to guess the book based on the word cloud. I could definitely see myself using those ideas in my classroom one day! Also, I can totally see how Tagxedo is more for older students. I know I would get so distracted by the prettiness of it and focus less on the content or what I could learn from it! But I think all three are great tools that allow users to create really fun projects! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Maria H. says:

    Chelsea, I have known about Tagxedo before this post, but never of Wordle or Text is Beautiful. I love the 3 super cool types of word clouds. I think the Correlation Wheel is my favorite because I feel as if students would be really intrigued by it and want to look further into it. It does make sense that older students would use Tagxedo, since it makes an actual shape and students can change words around more. Overall, I love your post with all of the screenshots and videos! Great job!

  5. Sara R. says:

    I have used word clouds before, but I had no idea that they could be made to look so beautiful and elaborate! Thanks for sharing! I will definitely be using this tool in the future.

  6. Katie H. says:

    Great post Chelsea! I have always been a fan of using word clouds for a variety of situations. I think they are visually appealing and a great way to gain interest from children. They are so easy to make and I can see myself using these in my future classroom to show key words for various subjects. Students can create word clouds using these three tools in this post to create pictures for projects or lessons.

  7. Steph G. says:

    Awesome post Chelsea! I’ve used Worldle before and many of my teachers have used it in the past, but I never knew it had SO many cool features. I’ll definitely have to go back and see what I’ve been missing. I love how visually appealing word clouds are, they absolutely grab the attention of students. This was really informative, I really liked reading your post!

  8. Winna P. says:

    What a great post, Chelsea! I actually used Wordle in the 3rd grade class I worked in my senior year of high school. At the time the students were learning about character traits. Creating a Wordle was a cool way for them to understand character traits and display their personalities. I hope to use this tool in my classroom! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Laura H. says:

    Wordclouds are so fun! I have never used them but I have always wanted to. Thanks for bringing them back and giving a good description of them, Chelsea!

  10. Sydney R. says:

    Wordclouds are an easy, fun way to have students show what they know about a certain topic or historical figure. I had no idea there were so many different sites available for creating these wordclouds. I’ll definitely have to keep them in mind for use in the future, great post!

  11. Alexia M. says:

    I have never used Word Clouds before, but I can definitely see how helpful this would be in the classroom! I want to teach either kindergarten or 1st grade, so using this would be great for maybe putting some of their sight words on. It would make everything more colorful and exciting for them! I will definitely have to look into this. Thanks for the great post, Winna!

  12. Victoria B. says:

    I have used Word Clouds before in some of my high school classes and I loved it! I have never seen them used in the elementary classroom before but I can certainly think of some great ways to use them! I think such a unique product would help motivate children to write! Thanks for sharing!

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