Wordle has been one of my favorite tools for a while. With Wordle, you can create word clouds (like the one posted above). You type in a list of word (or copy and past a story, a blog post, an article ...). The size of the word in the wordle image depends on how many times that word was used. You do have options to change colors, backgrounds, fonts, and direction of some words in Wordle. Tagul is a similar word cloud creator, but you can create certain shapes with it.
I like the variety of things that I can do with Wordle and how it can be used in the classroom. I came across a wiki that presented even more ideas: MoreThanWordles. This page by Jen Wagner (twitter @jenwagner) is a collection of resources (and just neat things) that can be done with word clouds whether they are created using the Wordle program or not. I really like the jigsaw puzzle image that is over a wordle so pieces can be removed one at a time. The presentation on adding graphics that can be found on that wiki gives me even more ideas for ways a teacher (or really anybody) can use Wordle or word clouds.
She also does the daily GuessTheWordle daily challenge where a wordle is posted and students have to figure out what the words all have in common. You can read more about this challenge as well as find examples and answers from the past on the GuessTheWordle Wiki.
Here are some other great resources related to word clouds and Wordle:
- Ways to Use Wordle in Your Classroom
- Using Wordle for Comparision (example uses innauguration speeches)
- 43 Interesting Ways (and tips) for Using Wordle in the Classroom
- Word Cloud Resources, Tips, and Tools (provides some options for making word clouds besides Wordle