Today in Literacy Centers, the students were introduced to a website called Word Clouds that makes a visual representation of the words in a passage. A word cloud of the last post in the Room 21 Blog about Reading Goals could look like this:
The little words like "and", "the" and "to" have been left out with a setting but if they were included, it could look like this:
This tool can be helpful to find the main idea of a passage. The words in larger size shows the words that were used most in the passage. It is a fun tool to use because you can change the colours, the fonts and the arrangement of the words in the cloud.
Right now, we are using it for a different purpose. We are studying about animal groups and the students will be asked to find a list of animals and type them into word cloud. They have reference books to use or just think about them. If they type an animal or their name several times, it will show up bigger in the cloud. Everyone will have a turn to print out a cloud and display them above the computers in the classroom.
Wordle and Tagxedo too. Have fun!