Word cloud of Little Red Riding HoodUnfortunately most browsers don't support the original Wordle website any more, although if you click on the link you may be able to download a version which you can use on your computer. However, there are alternatives. I like Word Clouds - open the website, click on file, then paste/type text. Enter your text and play with the settings (colours, fonts etc). You can also edit the word list to remove items if you want. You can then save your image (e.g. as  .jpg) and print it out for your students.

There are loads of ways to use this with students: here are just a few:

  • Paste in 10 questions using one grammar structure (e.g. present perfect: "have you ever eaten horse?", "have you ever been to Australia?"). Make sure all common words are included. Students make questions for each other using the words in the word cloud. The common words (e.g. HAVE, YOU, BEEN, A, THE) will be bigger, so the students are more likely to remember to use them.
  • Paste in 10 expressions based on a particular word (e.g. kill time, in the nick of time, time flies ...). Make sure all common words are included. Students try to reconstruct the expressions. Particularly useful if you are reviewing the expressions.
  • Paste in a synopsis of a book or film. Students try to guess the plot.
  • Paste in a newspaper article or story they have read. Students try to retell the story.
  • Paste in a list of vocabulary you want to revise (single words). Students pick a word and define it. The others try to guess the word (they can also look at the word cloud). The words will all be the same size, but it'll still be pretty.