Monday, October 3, 2011

Hunting for Writing Help? The Answer's in the Clouds!

By Natalie Hunter, Guest Author     

Word cloud resources (not to be confused with cloud computing) create colorful visualizations of essays, spreadsheets, and articles, which makes them easier for students to visually process.  These are developed from software that generates "word clouds" from user-provided texts.  Images are generated from inputted resources and consist of artistically arranged mixtures of words and phrases from documents.  In turn, these are presented in different sizes according to word frequencies.  Because of the streamlined information, word clouds are particularly suited to aid in analysis of papers.  Because students can change colors, shapes, fonts, and styles of word clouds, they are fun for everyone in real classrooms or online schools.  
One area word clouds can be used as a teaching aid is in classroom writing assignments.  Students write drafts of essays before running them through easy-to-use word cloud generators, like Wordle at or ABCYa for Kids at.  This allows students to easily see which words they frequently use, and it helps determine whether any words are being overused.  Also, word clouds help facilitate lessons on the importance of word choices and varied uses of vocabulary, as well as lessons on using thesauruses.  With word frequency information and synonyms in hand, students revise their essays using the information gleaned from their word clouds to improve their works.
Word clouds can be used to study works of exemplary wordsmiths, as well as historical documents and other texts of academic interests.  By running documents through word cloud generators, images are created which demonstrate simple, easily readable ways which words and concepts are central to understandings of particular documents.  By creating something concrete and easy to grasp, students (especially at younger levels of education where capacities for abstract thinking are still developing) are able to clearly see the main points of documents, which increases comprehension and discussions of documents.  This is a smoother process than traditional methods of classroom lecturing for studies of secondary documents.
Word clouds possess the potential for positive impacts on classroom learning, particularly in areas of reading comprehension and compositions.  Due to their adeptness at taking complex and difficult documents and turning them into something clear, concrete, and comprehensive, there are lots of other uses for word clouds in classrooms.  The writing and reading of intensive core subjects, such as English and history, stand to gain the most from applications of word clouds in classroom lessons. 

Try using word clouds for free at the embedded links or at:

About the Guest Author:

She grew up wanting to be a teacher and is addicted to learning and research. As a result she is grateful for the invention of the internet because it allows her to spend some time outside rather than just poring through books in a library. She is fascinated by the different methodologies for education at large today, and particularly by the advent of:

Related Teachers Pay Teachers Products:

           Caterpillar Word Game$3.00 

           Using Figurative Languagein Writing $3.00    

         How to Write a Paragraph $1.49

        I-Have-Who-Has Animal Studies Vocabulary Review $4.00

            Daily Essential Vocabulary $4.80


  1. Wordle really is such a great resource. I think this is the third article where the author mentioned Wordle - and each time I'm nodding my head in agreement to the ways in which I can use it. Thanks for illustrating that again.

  2. Hunting for Writing Help? The Answer's in the Clouds!

    This is really a brain touching example....

    Thesis Writing

  3. Hey, nice site you have here! Keep up the excellent work. Paper Writing Service


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