Wordle in literacy

This week I tried to use wordle as an assessment tool in literacy. Children were shown a stimulus image of a man looking over the edge of a well and were then asked to write 100 words of character description. We then took everyone’s writing and put it into wordle.

The results were great! What became very clear was that the children were using phrases like “he looked like…” and hadn’t really used powerful descriptive words.

The great thing was that we could actually see the frequency of the words used by the size of the words in wordle.

Next week we’ll do some guided writing and repeat the process which should hopefully show a real difference.

I really liked this as an assessment method and would recommend that people tried this in their own classes.


Here’s a word cloud that I made using all the comments left by children on our school website.   I think it makes interesting reading.


 It also occurred to me that this could be a really useful tool for looking at the quality of vocabulary that children were using in their writing, for example if your lesson was on character description and using powerful adjectives etc you could get the children to paste their initial descriptions into a shared doc, then generate a word cloud.   Then at the end of the lessons do the same activity and compare the differences between the two word clouds.   Hopefully there would be some interesting discussion generated and some clear development!