Spread Kindness with a Kind-centric Wordcloud in

Three Easy Steps

 

Our quick lesson plan suggestion for implementing kindness word clouds in your classroom is just 5 steps,  short and sweet...

 

1. Preview the inspiring videos on the Random Act of Kindness Foundation's Kindness Daily. Choose your favorite and share with your class.

 

2. As a class, create a collaborative list of kindness words or phrases inspired by the video or positive things that happened during the day.  

You can use any kind of word processing app (Google Doc is my choice) for this step.

 

3. Demonstrate how to make a word cloud using your collaborative list.

 

4. Have students work in partners (elementary) or solo (middle school) to create their own cloud using the same process.

 

5. When finished, students can download and print their clouds or save and send to you.

 

 

OK.  You’re ready to create your Random Acts of Kindness Word Cloud, but...you don’t know where to start.  No worries, creating a word cloud is super simple and when the finished product appears on your screen your students will “ooh” and “aww” like you’ve made magic happen!  Below, we explain the what, the why, and the how :)

 

 

What is a word cloud?

A word cloud takes a body of text and turns it into an image.  The frequency of the each word will determine the size of the text in the image. The words that occurs the most in the text will appear larger while the supplementary words will appear smaller.

 

Word Clouds are a great tool for the classroom because kids love making them and they are a versatile tool no matter the grade level or accessibility of technology.  If you work with younger students or only have a teacher laptop and a projector, project the word cloud application and use equity sticks to call on students to contribute ideas as you type student contributions into the word cloud text box.  If you are in a 1:1 setting or work with tech-savvy students, you can get more hands-on by allowing students to create their own word cloud.

 

Word clouds offer an engaging way to review and summarize content at the end of a lesson, allow students to create a visual to supplement informative writing, or activate prior knowledge to introduce a topic, such as this Random Acts of Kindness mini-project to kick off the February #kindtech challenge!

 

Lesson Plan

Step 1:    Choose a word cloud website.

 

There are many word cloud tools out there but for ease of use in the classroom we recommend either Wordle or Word Mosaic. 

 

Why are we recommending Wordle or Word Mosaic?

Neither Wordle or Word Mosaic require you to sign up or sign in to use the tool which is fabulous for quick and easy use in the classroom!

 

All you have to do to get started is launch the site and you're ready to enter your text. Wordle and Word Mosaic are equally powerful tools that will both do the trick. You may want to explore both before implementing in your classroom to choose the tool that appeals to you the most or consider the following pros and cons to choose the right tool for you!

 

Wordle

Positives:  

Wordle has a simple, clean, and user friendly interface. Wordle allows you to enter text into a large text box or copy and paste text from a document, website, or any other digital body of text.

 

Negatives:

One downfall of Wordle is the limited download and sharing options. Wordle allows you to download the final image as a PNG which can be printed or shared as an attachment but Wordle does not offer the option to share directly to social media or via email. Another con to using Wordle is that it can be a little glitchy. While you can access the site to create your word cloud on any browser, you must have the correct plug in and browser to produce the final word cloud. We recommend testing it within several browsers before implementing it in the classroom just to be sure!

 

Word Mosaic

Postives:

Image chef’s Word Mosaic functions in much the same way as Wordle but with several more options.  Word Mosaic allows you to choose from a variety of fun color schemes. In addition, Word Mosaic allows you to turn your word cloud into a variety of fun shapes. You could choose to have your kindness message appear in the shape of heart in fun pink and black colors.

 

If you're using this tool with older students on their own devices Word Mosaic is a great option as students will be hooked on turning their words into cool, funky images.

 

Negatives:

When you launch the Word Mosaic site you'll notice that the user interface is not as clean and simple as Wordle. The text box appears much smaller with many more layout options.

Step 1

 

Step 2:    Enter text into website.

Woohoo! You've chosen a word cloud generator and you're ready to enter your text.

 

We recommend that your enter the text into Google or Word Doc before creating your word cloud.  Doing this ensures that your kindness words are safe even if there is a glitch in one of the apps.

 

Once you have recorded all your text, simply copy and paste your text into the text box within the app and you are ready to create your word cloud!

 

See the pictures below for a visual on that process.

Step 2

 

Click Create your own option.

Paste or type text into box that appears.  Make sure to copy your text in case Wordle accidently deletes it.

Paste or type text into the "Enter Text to Go Inside Symbol Here" box.

 

Make sure to copy your text just in case.

 

 

 

Click Preview to see your word cloud take shape!

 

 

Step 3:   Create, Customize and Export

If you are working in Wordle, simply hit the “Go” button and Wordle will start working its magic to create your word cloud. Your kindness word cloud will appear in a pop up window.

 

Now, you can play with the settings to adjust the layout and color scheme. Once you are happy with the layout and colors click  You can now share by uploading the image to any social media site or attaching as an email.

 

If you are working within Word Mosaic you can use the Preview button to preview the final product and make edits along the way before finalizing your word cloud. Use the select tools to decide on a color and/or shape.

 

When you are happy with the layout and colors hit to produce your kindness word cloud. Again, word mosaic offers multiple social media buttons to share quickly and easily on your favorite social media site or via email.


 

 

Step 3

 

Paste or type text into box that appears.  Then, click Go to make Wordle.

You can edit your Wordle's color, font and layout using the menu bar at the top of the the cloud text. .

You can edit your Wordle's color, font and layout using the menu bar at the top of the the cloud text. .

 

Word Mosaic has easy to use option for changing the shape and style of your word cloud.  These features have been field tested with middle schoolers and are definitely a hit!

 

Share via social media using the buttons above your word cloud. Save to your computer by clicking on Save to my Stuff.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change your text, background and font using the drop down menus beside your word cloud.

 

 

 

Change your symbol shape using the dropdown box with the symbol shape.

 

 

There you have it! Word clouds are so simple, so much fun,  and kids young and old love them! Just jump in, have fun with it, and learn along the way! Don't forget to share your finished product(s) in Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook with hashtag #kindtech!

 

Enjoy and Happy Kindness Spreading!

--Ella and Akela

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