Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning

Collaborative Word Clouds

K20 Center, Quentin Biddy | Published: September 16th, 2020 by K20 Center


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Collaborative Word Clouds

Students collaboratively organize thoughts and ideas related to given prompts.

Collaborative Word Clouds


The purpose of this strategy is to help students to collaborate with a group to summarize and synthesize ideas. Students first reflect on an idea or reading and then list major themes, key ideas, and/or main descriptive words on a note card or paper. Next the students are placed in small groups in which they discuss the main themes that emerge when they compare the words that each person in the group listed. The students then use these patterns to create a visual word cloud on a piece of paper or poster paper.  


  1. Have students reflect on the topic (e.g., idea, concept, text).

  2. Have students write down key words that relate to the topic.

  3. Group students together to discuss their word lists.

  4. Have each group create a word cloud using markers and paper or poster paper.

  5. Have students share their word cloud with the class or another group to create shared meaning.