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Writing with Wordle

tengrrl Posted by tengrrl in Reading & Language Arts on Jul 12, 2011 12:36:01 AM

Wordle for The RavenYou probably would have guessed that raven was one of the most frequently used words in Poe’s “The Raven,” but the Wordle word cloud on the right makes the impact of that word visually obvious. Wordle is a free tool that can make a word cloud out of any text that is pasted into a form or by using the text on a webpage. It includes some choices for formatting, so that you can change the color and layout of the words. You can also omit commonly used words. The final cloud can be printed or saved.


Last week, Edutopia shared some ideas for using Wordle in the classroom, as part of their New Teacher Boot Camp. In addition to checking out the Edutopia resources, take a look at these blog posts for more ideas on using  word clouds for reading and writing activities in the classroom:



While you checking out activities for the next school year, be sure to look at the ReadWriteThink calendar entries, lesson plans, and classroom activities below for  more ideas. Have a great week!


New Resources

From the Calendar 

  • July 10: The Scopes Trial began today in 1925. Student brainstorm a list of objects and processes that have changed over time and use the Timeline tool to sketch out the evolution of the item they   have chosen. A giant class timeline can be created to show the evolution of the items students have investigated. (For grades 5–12)

  • July 11: Children's author Patricia Polacco was born in 1944. Students share family stories of their own by writing original poems and   reviewing parts of speech using the Diamante Poems tool. (For grades 3–8)

  • July 11: Author E.B. White was born on this day in 1899. Author E.B. White, most well-known for his famous children's book, Charlotte's Web, received high acclaim and awards for many of his works of fiction. (For grades K–5)

  • July 12: Henry David Thoreau was born in 1817. Students   make mental “snapshots” of a natural setting, then capture the details of their setting by writing and then creating a class booklet of the nature walk. (For grades 1–12)

  • July 14: Author Laura Joffe Numeroff was born in 1953. Using one of Numeroff's books as a model, students use the circle plot structure as a culminating project for a unit of study completed in the classroom. (For grades 3–8)

  • July 16: African American journalist Ida B. Wells was born in 1862. Students brainstorm a list of human rights issues, research their group's issue in depth, examine the way journalists cover a story, and create articles for a classroom newspaper. (For grades 7–12)

  • Look ahead to next week for lesson plans and activities on Jack Kerouac, John Newbery, the first moon landing, Ernest Hemingway, and the Pied Piper.


Connecting with Other Teachers   

If you have feedback or questions about ReadWriteThink, all you have to do is contact us.



—Traci Gardner


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