Word clouds can be a helpful visual support for students to remember vocabulary, facts, events…As they have this apparent random look, they can be a good excuse to ask students to arrange the items in a correct order, point at them…
These are the word cloud generators I tend to use:
ABC YA word clouds (has an app for mobile devices)- an easy, quick, and colourful way to create word clouds. The result is a static word cloud (you get the picture, and that’s all).
https://wordart.com/– to create word clouds with different shapes. The result is a dynamic word cloud: if you scroll over the word, they’re highlighted, so it’s easier to draw attention to them in class. You can also make the words / expressions clickable, linking to external websites of your choice. Works on mobile devices as well.
Click on this link to see the dynamic, clickable version of the word cloud above.
Whatever website or app you’re using, if you want to keep words together in a sentence or compound, rather than have them one by one, join the words together with the tilde (~) symbol. For example, if you want to show “make ends meet”, you should type make~ends~meet.
Other word cloud generators:
Ideas to use in class:
- Brainstorm previous knowledge: to revise vocabulary students may already know, or vocabulary covered in previous lessons. Ask them to contribute words or expressions, and create the word cloud as they speak.
- Brainstorm causes / consequences of … (same procedure as with vocabulary)
- If students have devices at hand, ask them to come up themselves with the word clouds, to show how much they remember.
- Prepare the word cloud beforehand, to introduce new vocabulary you’re interested in / facts you would like your students to consider / put in order.
- Create a word cloud at the end of a session / unit with your students contributions, to emphasise key points to remember.