Word Cloud Art

Well, sort of.

A little while ago I saw a fantastic idea posted on a classroom blog (and I feel terrible because I forgot to save the post and I can’t remember where I saw it – point being, this is not my original idea!) that I remembered this afternoon and had to try.

This year I’m moving into a brand new classroom in brand new building. Now, I’m slightly distressed because the room is tiny and I have a LOT of stuff. I don’t even have room to hang a net in my room – which is difficult for me, because I put up student work and displays left, right, up, down, all across the classroom. This year, however, I have to be super organised and crafty with my room space.

But I am determined (I swear!) to have a cozy reading space. And this is why my borrowed idea comes in handy.

Blog-HungryUsing my (undeniable) love for word clouds, I’m making picture-book word clouds for some of my favourite children’s books using the words from the stories. I’m using Tagxedo, mostly because I love the different shape layout options, but I do also have a love for the original word clouds from Wordle.

My aim is to frame these and put them up in the reading area, and throughout the year make new ones and switch them around based on my class’ favourite stories. (Not counting the other many Literacy-rich activities that word clouds can be used for – but that’s another post all on its own!)

If anyone’s interested I’ve put together some of the word clouds I made in a .pdf featuring the following books:

  • Imagine a Place (Rob Gonsalves and Sarah L. Thomson)
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Eric Carle)
  • The Very Itchy Bear (Nick Bland)
  • Possum Magic (Mem Fox)
  • The Red Tree (Shaun Tan)
  • Diary of a Wombat (Jackie French)

Download the .pdf here

I have no doubt that more classroom decorating posts will follow (I’m notorious for documenting that sort of thing) once I can actually get into my classroom! First trip in on Tuesday, to sort out the Prep Resource Room (a disaster site after our moving day in December).

However, I think more of these picture-book word clouds are also on the agenda, because frankly, they’re addictive and cute!

Which picture-books would you turn into a word cloud?

4 thoughts on “Word Cloud Art

  1. Hi Stef,

    Thanks for sharing this great tool. I LOVE word clouds and anything ‘typography’ and have been looking at ways to make my classroom more inviting for older learners as this is all new to me! I can definitively visualise these beautiful clouds in my room!

    Thanks again!


    • @ Bec,

      There’s SO much potential with word clouds (I really should get around to writing a post on how I’ve used them in my classroom). Like you I love typography, too, but I don’t have the patience to do it myself with a graphics program, so I cheated – a little bit – by using Tagxedo. But they turned out great!



  2. Oh and how terrible of me not to answer your question-

    Picture books I would like to see in these great word clouds-

    Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge and anything by Dr Suess!



    • @ Bec,

      Lol – it’s all good. It’s kind of hidden there at the bottom!

      I love Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge (hoping to do some work on it with students this year) and Dr. Seuss! Those would all be grand. Oh dear, I know what I’ll be doing over the next week… I’ll have so many of them I won’t know what to do with them!



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