Explosions In Word Clouds

In a stack of papers called Reading.

  • Jul
  • 04
  • 2008

Glancing at the design blogs today, SimpleBits brought me two things. I’ll discuss the other one later.

Be Saul Bass!

Wordle creates word clouds from any text you input. The resulting cloud could give some nice insight into the main ideas of the text, before or after reading.

You copy and paste the text or put in the URL of a page that has an RSS feed. Copy and paste will likely be the easiest. Open that story you print out for the students each year and bring it over to Wordle’s Create page. The options for font, layout, and color provide you with control; you can tweak things within all sorts of parameters. Using the print link on the finished page fits the word cloud onto a full sheet of paper with plenty of white space for notes and observations. I also used a screen grab application in order to paste the cloud into a Word document for even more control.


At the beginning of the year, my juniors read a piece from Ralph Waldo Emerson and compare it to something by Harold Bloom. These two texts are often confusing and I might use these word clouds to help set the stage:

Emerson Word Cloud
The American Scholar Word Cloud from Wordle
Bloom Word Cloud
Why Read? Word Cloud from Wordle

Let’s give Shakespeare a shot:

Hamlet Word Cloud
Hamlet Word Cloud from Wordle
Macbeth Word Cloud
Macbeth Word Cloud from Wordle

OK, sometimes these aren’t as useful.

Happy Fourth! Enjoy the fireworks tonight.

1 comment

1. Bookmarks about Clouds says:

[10/24/2008 - 9:30 am]

[…] – bookmarked by 1 members originally found by Kelesnya on 2008-10-04 Explosions In Word Clouds http://www.toddseal.com/rodin/2008/07/explosions-in-word-clouds/ – bookmarked by 6 members […]