Moving at the speed of creativity


When people think of creativity, it’s usually seen in light of visual and performing arts.  But creativity can be actively  experienced in all of the intelligences.

Since its introduction to the world, Wordle word clouds have been popping up everywhere – newspaper headlines, magazine articles, classroom hallways and of course websites.  Easy to create, it has a profound effect especially when you really stop to look at it.  The words seem to just bounce with life and energy.  Concepts and themes are clearly identifiable.

Besides the beautiful clouds there are many uses for this handy tool.  This one above is a representation – what do you think is the theme of the text?  This could be an interesting way to start a September year in class. Framing the question: “What do you think we’ll be learning in class this year?” may certainly add a little intrigue and novelty.  A bit of a perk up for the brain. What if students started off their year brainstorming all the words that describe themselves and what they like to do, what’s important to them and ‘wordled it’. Not only would you get a practical activity in using/sharing descriptive words but if you turned the resulting product into a guessing learn-about-everyone activity, you’d be certain to have a possible conversation starter about ‘who we really are’ and the ‘person we want to be’ (mmhh.. social responsibility and restitution).

How about a writing piece where you can copy/paste the entire text or paragraph into Wordle and allow the visual cloud to form. The program uses an algorithm that pulls out all of the nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs and ignores participles, articles etc.  The size of words is dependent on the number of times it pops up in the text. The resulting visual representation can be an end to itself or can be used to open dialogue on theme of writing.

Any time that I can bring in multiple ways of knowing is a powerful thing especially to create multiple access points in the brain. It’s all about connections, connections…

I’d be interested in how you’re using Wordle. Feel free to drop me a line.


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