Monthly Archives: November 2009

Enhanced textuality? Wordle


The joy of Wordle seems to have become one of the worst-kept secrets. It is one of those rare finds which is easy to use and gives instantly appealing and aesthetically pleasing results. So far, I have used it as a stimulus to meeting new poems in the AQA Anthology. Students seem to have enjoyed exploring the language and made thoughtful connections before meeting the poems themselves. Much discussion has ensued over the precise meaning and associations of certain words and wonder why these were chosen over other alternatives. Why, for example select ‘cry’ instead of weep, sob, blubber, keen, bawl ?


Obvious applications for Wordle include:

Classroom displays, revision prompts, theme spotting. But for lots of inspired ideas it is worth going to the clever sheep (well worth a visit anyway)


Remember, though, that Wordle results might also mislead – although that can be quite an interesting opening in itself.  Like  Charles Pooter with his facsimile machine, I found myself bunging any text to hand into it only to find a joyful email from my daughter enthusing about her Law lectures at university seemed like some grim tale of  ‘assault’, ‘unlawful force’ and  much worse.




Wordle was created by Jonathan Feinberg.

Worth looking too at this good advice for protecting your students from inappropriate Wordles:

 Simply have your networking administrator block the following base URLs1:



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