Using a Word Cloud to Remember Words and Texts

Reading is a great way to improve your vocabulary and develop your knowledge of the world, but if you want to remember what you have learned and keep your vocabulary active then here's an enjoyable activity you can do quite easily.

The activity uses a website called Wordle. This site takes the text from documents or webpages and makes them into word clouds (see below). You can then use those word clouds to help you remember the texts you read.
The word cloud above was made by adding the introduction from this page about Shakira from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shakira

Task:
  • Read the article, then copy the text.
  • Then go to the Wordle site at: http://wordle.net/create and paste the text into the field. Then click the go button.

  • Wordle will create a word cloud of your text. You can then change the colour and print the word cloud or save it to an online gallery.


  • After you have printed your word cloud, look at the words and see how much of the article you can recall by looking at the cloud.
  • Try to rewrite the article, or a summary of the article, from your memory using the words from the cloud. It doesn't have to be exactly the same, just try to use as many of the words from the cloud as you can.
  • Here's an article about Angelina Jolie you can use as practice.
  • First read this article: Angelina Jolie Movie Posters Banned in U.K.
  • Now click on the word cloud below and see if you can write a summary of the article.
If you have enjoyed this activity then try making word clouds of other texts or study notes you read. Print the word clouds and keep them in a book or pin them to your walls.

Each time you look at one of the word clouds try to remember as much as you can about the text.

Good luck. Come back for more EFL ESL activities tomorrow.

Best

Nik Peachey

10 comments:

Maria Karina Salazar Guillen said...

reading is difficult but is more difficult to get some important ideas of a text. and I think that the activity that is presented in this blog can be a good option to practice when people read

MIGUELANGEL said...

Well, this is a nice and interactive
game because, you can share what you
already know and learn new vocabulary at the same time. But the most important is that you are enjoying what you are doing...

Maria Karina Salazar Guillen said...

reading is difficult but is more difficult to get some important ideas of a text. and I think that the activity that is presented in this blog can be a good option for practice when people read

Alfredo said...

Hey Nik!

I have spotted your blog thanks to a teacher of mine. I am studying something related to teaching and I want to tell you that your webpage is really useful for those of us who are still learning English and try to teach it as well. Quite a variety of resources you have here!
I find your blog very useful and friendly, thanks for this nice contribution to learning.

P.S. I really liked the word cloud program.

no beer !!! no fear !!! said...

It can be quite helpful to use the wesite wordle. By creating word clouds you have many clues to remember what you have read about.Even tough words might not be organized at all, just with a glance to it you can remember even more of the information that you may possibly forget if you did not save it or write it down.

Nik Peachey said...

Thanks Alfredo,

Wordle is one of my favourite tools at the moment. I'm even thinking of using it to design a logo for the site.

Best wishes

Nik Peachey

Nik Peachey said...

Hi Maria

I think you are right. Reading can be very difficult, and I think this is a great way to revist texts and try to remember more of what you learned from them.

Good luck

Best

Nik

Nik Peachey said...

Hi Miguel

I absolutely agree. I think that learning should always be enjoyable. If you aren't enjoying it, then you probably aren't learning anything.

Best

Nik

Chitra Lakshimi said...

I loved the idea, since my students are engineering students and when they make presentations, I feel that they could use this as a tool to help them remember the key ideas...but, when I tried to do this, my computer stopped me from opening wordle, saying that Activex would be installed..I mean, how safe is this to try? Help me, I am just a beginner.

Nik Peachey said...

Hi Chitra

Active -X is a standard plugin for web browsers to enable them to view more active / interactive content. It's safe to downlaod and install it, though some content that uses the active-x plugin isn't always so safe, but if you are just browsing educational sites that use it you should be fine.

Best

Nik

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