Tuesday 20 July 2010

Web tools for making word clouds

Word clouds or clusters of words are a fun way to sum up the lexis used in a particular text. There are quite a lot of tools for creating them, here I have exploited four of them. I have already mentioned TAGUL and WORDLE before.
I have used the same poem The Little Boy and the Old Man by Shel Silverstein for making all clouds. You may try to predict the content of the poem while looking at these word clouds, and then read the full poem at the end of the post.

Further reading about the ways how you can use word clouds in the lessons:

WORDLE is probably the most popular tool. I have not researched its history but I believe it may also be the oldest of all tools of the kind. I developed my love for the word clouds thanks to Wordle.

WORD IT OUT is a tool I discovered recently and liked it at once for its simplicity.

Word clouds made with ABCya are amazingly similar to Wordle products and as lovely!

Finally, TAGXEDO which is popular because of its versatility. You can even create a cloud in the shape of a star or an animal. But then Tagul also makes shapes if you wish.

Here is the poem I used to make the word clouds.

Said the little boy, "Sometimes I drop my spoon."
Said the old man, "I do that too."
The little boy whispered, "I wet my pants."
"I do that too," laughed the little old man.
Said the little boy, "I often cry."
The old man nodded, "So do I."
"But worst of all," said the boy, "it seems
Grown-ups don't pay attention to me."
And he felt the warmth of a wrinkled old hand.
"I know what you mean," said the little old man.

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