Words as Art — Wonderful Word Clouds!

Word clouds are fun to make for hol­i­days or any­time of year! This is a great project for home school­ers, or any class with access to com­put­ers. A word cloud is a ran­dom arrange­ment of words, in this case a pas­sage of writ­ing where com­mon words such as “and”, “the”, “if”, etc. are omit­ted and the text is then arranged in ran­dom order, with the words that appear more often being larger than the oth­ers. Word clouds are not “read­able” in a lit­eral sense, but you can usu­ally get the idea of what a pas­sage is about just by scan­ning the largest words!

I made these sam­ples using two great web­sites, Wor­dle and Bible­gate­way.… here’s how I did it:

1. Go to Bible­gate­way where you can search for a pas­sage using key­words such as “shep­herds” or “angels”, or you can search by topic or just type in the address if you know it. You can also com­pare the pas­sage in dif­fer­ent ver­sions, such as the NIV or New King James.

2. Select and copy the text you want.

3. Then, go to Wor­dle, paste your text into the empty box, and click “create”.

4. From there, you can play with the lay­out (ver­ti­cal, hor­i­zon­tal, every which way, etc.), change the font or col­ors, or just keep click­ing the “ran­dom­ize” but­ton at the bot­tom until you get a com­bi­na­tion you like.

Word clouds are unique designs you can use in a vari­ety of ways. Some of my stu­dents used them to make Christ­mas cards for their buddy classes and we’ll be mak­ing these in Jan­u­ary using Mar­tin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. You can also type your own words into Wor­dle fol­low­ing a theme like the word cloud below.

Have a Merry Christ­mas and a Cre­ative New Year!

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9 Responses to Words as Art — Wonderful Word Clouds!

  1. Kathy December 20, 2010 at 4:35 pm #

    Your Christ­mas wor­dles are won­der­ful. Our school made these word clouds from saint reports in Octo­ber and they were really nice. I like how your exam­ples were taken from Bible passages.

  2. apples love oranges December 20, 2010 at 5:52 pm #

    great resource! Thanks for sharing…I had never heard of the web­site before

  3. Eleanor Vander Meulen December 20, 2010 at 8:27 pm #

    So glad you posted this…I’ve done this before with Bible verses, but have long since for­got where I did it! I was think­ing some time ago that I would like to give each stu­dent in my school a page to list 5 (pos­i­tive) words about school (can be adjec­tives, favourite sub­jects, teacher names, funny moments etc.) and I would com­pile them into a word cloud and well…from here on in I haven’t quite decided. Maybe paint it as a mural on a wall. Thanks again. A blessed Christ­mas to you!

  4. laura minala November 24, 2012 at 7:49 am #

    incred­i­ble… i even if i do it , it will not
    look nearly as good as this

  5. win January 4, 2013 at 5:59 am #

    excel­lent — just look­ing at it inspired me :-)

  6. Michelle M May 19, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

    I made these on Tagxedo.com using adjec­tives the stu­dents wrote about each other. (I can’t use Bible verses since I’m a pub­lic school teacher.) I gave each stu­dent a class list, and for home­work they had to write a pos­i­tive adjec­tive next to each class­mates’ name. Then in class, each stu­dent wrote his/her name on a piece of lined paper, and we set them out along the tables. Each stu­dent took their home­work list and added their words to those pages, so that each stu­dent had one page with 32 adjec­tives. I took them home, typed them into the web­site and made word clouds to dec­o­rate for Open House. They LOVED them and can’t wait until I take them down so they can have them! =)

    • Cheryl Trowbridge May 19, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

      What a great way to use Tagxedo, Michelle! I hope oth­ers will see your idea and try it with their classes… that’s the kind of thing that kids will save for­ever! Thanks for sharing!!

      • Michelle M May 25, 2013 at 6:54 am #

        Thanks, Cheryl! They were a big hit at Open House with the par­ents! When I took them down the other day, many of my stu­dents held them and read them over and over! I had backed them with red con­struc­tion paper on which I typed an expla­na­tion of how they were made, so par­ents could see that these were words the kids came up with for each other. They all said they wanted to keep them forever.….it was such a pow­er­ful project! =)

        • Cheryl Trowbridge May 27, 2013 at 9:42 pm #

          I love this, Michelle! What a trea­sured keep­sake for your students!!

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