Sunday, 29 January 2012

Start Your Literacy Lesson With a Word Cloud

Firstly, if you’ve not yet heard of or made word clouds before visit one of the websites below to start making them:
We have recently been looking for ways to engage our Key Stage Two learners in improving their understanding of different word types. One way we’ve found to do this has been through the use of word clouds. At the beginning of some literacy lessons we have displayed a word cloud and then set the children the task of listing different types of words that they can find in the word cloud.
The example below contains nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs. The children listed words they thought were examples of each. This lead to a discussion about why words were or were not a certain word type and also lead to discussing words like ‘sprout’, ‘stamp’ and ‘smoking’ that can at different times be classified as more than one of these.
This could also be carried out using time connectives, conjunctions, alternatives for said or contractions missing apostrophes that need adding and so on…
The word clouds are easily created by coping a list of words into the website. Below are examples of the four ideas listed previously:

Again, please feel free to add to this post by commenting below.


  1. Thanks for the post.
    Think I might use a word cloud for my first reading group of the year. I might get them to write down 5 things they want to get out of the year, the class, what they want to do, how they want it to run...etc then word cloud their answers into a big poster. Just a thought.
    Thanks for the post and inspiration!


  2. @Mick_Sweeney, thanks for the comment. Glad it's been useful. On the word cloud you'd then see what the popular thoughts are as larger words too!

  3. Children create word clouds of their weekly spellings as it is a better visual prompt than just a last of words.

  4. Leyburn School, thanks for the idea! :-)

  5. To launch a new unit or story, you can create a word cloud of important words. Then have students make predictions based on the word cloud. Students can revisit the word cloud at the end of the unit or story and use it to help wrap up their learning by completing a writing task using some of the words. This can be a great way to build vocabulary, especially if synonyms are used for some of the key words.

  6. If you have / create an electronic version of a text, make it into a word cloud then display before looking at the text. Discuss what the text might be about, mood, genre, contextual clues etc. Identify and define unfamiliar words before reading.