Word cloud or Tag cloud sites are great Web 2.0 tools to use at all grade levels for all different subjects. Teachers use these tools for vocabulary, assessing background knowledge, providing a forum for reflection after a teaching session, or introducing new concepts or topics in a unique and creative way.
So, what are word or tag cloud sites? These sites let you take a collection of words and create a cloud or a shape from them. Some of the tools only allow you to enter the words, but some of the tools let you take content from a website and make a cloud. There are little tricks too...if you type a word in multiple times in some tools, that word will be larger. Or if you want to connect words together for a phrase or sentence you can place a ~ between each of the words and they will stay together. Even better - once you have your cloud created, many of the tools let you embed them into your website, blog or wiki.
These tools are easy to use and students love creating them. The engagement factor is a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10. These are quick and easy integration tools that every teacher should explore. Below is a collection of them for you to sample.