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Wordle: Word Cloud

Example Web Site and/or Technical Equipment Required


More Ways

Computer(s), Internet access, Color Printer

Activity Description

Students use the Web site to create word art posters. For this activity, ask students to list what they are thankful for. This could be a Thanksgiving activity.


  1. Make sure that the Web site it not blocked at your school before using it with students.
  2. The site uses a Java applet, so make sure that Java is installed and enabled.
  3. Practice using the site yourself to anticipate student difficulties.
  4. Make your own sample Wordle and show it to students.


  1. Have students do writing in class. Explain what you want them to write with a model. Collect their writing and return with feedback for improvement / corrections.
  2. In a computer lab setting, have students open the Wordle Web site (link above). Select the "Create" your own link.
  3. In the text box, type in the text or copy and paste text from a word-processed document. Note: the more times a word is entered,the larger it will be.Select the "Go" button.
  4. A Wordle will be displayed. Use the Font, Layout, and Color tabs at the top to change the appearance or select "Randomize" to see other designs.
  5. Select "Print."

Teacher Tips

  • If a color printer is not available, the Wordle images can be saved by selecting "Open in Window" (enlarge the new window to take up the entire monitor) and doing a screen capture (use Prt Sc - Print Screen key on your keyboard). Then open Office 2010 and paste the screen shot that is on your computer's clipboard into the new Word document. Select the image, then select the Format tab (under Picture Tools). Use the Crop Tool to select only the Wordle you created. Now Save your Word document.
  • A Wordle can also be saved to the public gallery by selecting "Save to Public Gallery." Students will give it a title, enter a username, and comment (optional) and then select "OK." It will be viewable to everyone, so if students enter an original title and username, you will be able to find it easier in the gallery, but make sure that students do not post personal information. The gallery-submitted Wordles are listed chronologically with most recently-submitted work displayed first. Other sites for creating word clouds include the following: Tagxedo Word It Out Tagul

More Ways

Other ways you may want to use this Web site with your students are the following:

  • Students list words that describe themselves (physical and or character traits) or use adjectives and adverbs to describe how they do things (walk proudly, speak fluently, study hard)
  • Class survey (e.g., students type in response to a question, for example: Class survey (e.g., students type in response to a question, for example: Best Ways to practice English
  • Autobiographical poem or About Me (words for likes and dislikes
  • Favorites (favorite season, activities, etc.)
  • A holiday; grammar or vocabulary practice


  • Beginning Literacy
  • Beginning Low
  • Beginning High
  • Intermediate Low
  • Intermediate High
  • Advanced
  • All Levels
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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN200091-A2 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.