Oh the possibilities!

This week we were tasked with trying one of the visualization resources we discussed in our previous class. I decided to give Wordle a try. I had seen products of Wordle before and really liked them, but never knew the tool that created them. I really like that the program pulls out the most often used words and displays them artistically. I think that Wordle will be something I will use often in my classroom.

Below is a visual representation of my last post using Wordle. Here is the link to my Wordle.

Wordle - Blog Post


Additionally, I think this could be a great tool for visually showing writers words that they might overuse, and it could even be used with a thesaurus to help expand vocabulary. For example, if I ended up teaching sixth grade, I would have my students run their essays through Wordle to see which words they used most often. After identifying those words, they can either think of other words with similar meanings or use a thesaurus for additional help. By learning to vary word use, they can then learn to vary sentence structure.

Other uses for Wordle could be to find common themes in speeches or other writing. For instance, the speeches made by Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. could easily be compared using Wordle. The visual representations created by Wordle make it so easy and saves so much time, allowing the class to focus on the theme, rather than the act of sorting out and matching the common words.

I am excited to use Wordle more in the future!


7 thoughts on “Oh the possibilities!

  1. Thanks! I had to compare speeches for rhetorical devices in a graduate rhetoric class. As soon as I saw this I thought it would be awesome for doing something similar for finding themes.

  2. I’m going to suggest to all of my students to use this on their papers as you’ve suggested. They often don’t understand that they overuse words in their papers. Additionally, I plan on using it for my own chapter summaries to indicate to students the importance of certain words/concepts

  3. Great ideas, Katie! I never really considered Wordle being used as a tool for students to analyze and improve their own writing. What a perfect use for word clouds that visually represent word-frequency data!

    • Thanks, Meredith! I think there are so many possibilities in this area – in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to see something like this used after election campaign speeches. They already tell us those frequencies, this would let them show it as well.

  4. I love your wordle and your ideas on how to use it! I made a couple of the wordles too, but I couldn’t think of as many words as you did. Yours is really great…you can think of so many different themes that this wordle is about.

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