To the cloud (no, not that one)…

I ran across a cute idea on Pinterest the other day for a baby gift.  It involved Wordle and it got me thinking about how I could use a variation in therapy with my students.  Wordle is a program that allows you to pick all kinds of words and generate a visual representation, a cloud, using them:

character wordle

The Pinterest version took it a step further, shaping the words into images using another website, tagxedo.   Here is an example of one done of MLK;

mlk tagxedo

Pretty cool right?  So how can you incorporate these fun web tools into therapy?  I am glad you asked!  Here are a few ideas:

  • Create visual word clouds to describe a character from a story and have the students try to guess who it is.  You can use the tagxedo site to put the words into a clue form (example:  a horse for Black Beauty ).  This is an opportunity to talk about character traits as well as how people are perceived by how they act.
  • Have the students create word clouds/images of themselves and work through those perceptions (and misperceptions) of how we want others to think about us.  This would be a nice activity to pair with Michelle Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking lessons on perspective and inferences.
  • Have other students offer some positive character traits they see in their classmates, create some wordles and post these in the room.
  • Allow students to create wordles with important details they want others to know about themselves.  For example, likes, dislikes, siblings, where they were born, pets…   Use these in a game to pair with Michelle Garcia Winner’s lesson on building people files.  This activity focuses on learning about other people in order to ask questions and build commonality in conversation (instead of only talking about our interests)!
  • For our kids who perseverate on a topic, and might only include words related to, hmmm, Minecraft, I would let them go ahead and make that wordle.   Then have them look at other examples that include many interests. This could open up a discussion about how when we only talk about one thing, that limits conversation and can be a little boring to other people.  Visuals are powerful!

I hope you found a little inspiration today!  I’d love to hear your ideas on incorporating word clouds into therapy too.

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