Using Wordle or Tagxedo in the classroom

I cannot wait to use this in my classroom.  I think this would be a great anticipatory set for students to be introduced to any documents especially primary source documents.  In teaching middle school, students struggle with the language, the vocabulary and the word clouds will definitely help students to identify the BIG WORDS.

The first document I tried was the Emancipation Proclamation.  I created two different ones.  The emancipation proclamation in wordle (click on link-Emancipation proclamation).  The second is from Tagxedo below.  I really liked Tagxedo because you could play around with shapes.

The second document I created was the Gettysburg Address.  This I also created with Tagxedo in the shape of Lincoln’s face.


Even giving this to students as a short writing assignment, before giving student the documents, enables them to work through the document in a more easily accessible way. I plan on using this technique in the following ways.

1.  Give the students the picture and ask them what they think the document is about in a short 1 paragraph writing assignment.

2.  Give these as examples and have the students read primary sources and create their own using newspapers/magazines to cut out words.  Students should use the KEY words-not necessarily the ones that show up the most to represent the document in a visual way.

3.  Have the students read the document and then give them the picture and ask them to rework it so it represents the document better.

Finally, in writing this, it reminded me of something I saw in a museum and that was the Preamble written out with the use of license plates.  These can be very powerful teaching tools.  One thing is for sure, I would love suggestions on how you would use Tagxedo and Wordle

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One comment on “Using Wordle or Tagxedo in the classroom
  1. loilaing says:

    Thanks for these great options for using word clouds in the classroom Samantha!

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House Divided Project

Course Professor
Matthew Pinsker:
Dickinson College
Carlisle, PA 17013

Course Producer
Lance Warren:
Gilder Lehrman Institute
New York, NY 10036