Fun with Words

At the Convention, sitting in yet another fascinating seminar.  (Not sarcasm there.  I am really enjoying it.)

Thought you might like to play around with this new tool, which apparently has already made the rounds among the cool English teachers: it's called Wordle.

Basically, you just type in a bunch of words -- a story, some ideas, etc. -- and the program randomizes the arrangement, but uses the frequency of repeated words to determine their size; thus, a common word will appear larger, while a less common one will be smaller.  I used the Gettysburg Address for mine:


You can play around with the arrangement, colors, fonts, etc., and ask it to ignore certain words (it automatically leaves out conjunctions, articles, etc.)

The teacher who presented this explained that it was useful as a character mapping tool.  Each student would list three descriptive adjectives for a character -- the narrator of Rebecca, for instance.  Many used the obvious "wife" and "sad."  Some said "plain" or "replacement."  It was a great way to do a character analysis without even breaking a sweat.  A fun program, too!