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Wordle genre signs (and authors-I-like signs)

Wordle: FANTASY springfield

Wordle: Springfield Horror

I’ve been playing with Wordle for some time now. 

I found it useful for Dewey signs, among many other things.  Cathy Jo Nelson wrote a lovely piece on it for the July 1st issue of this journal. 

This week I was thinking of what kind of cool activity I could give to Caroline, our new senior volunteer who loves technology AND reading kind of equally, when it hit me!

Wordle genre signs would be fabulous to display in our fiction area and to embed on our new website.

Caroline decided to start with fantasy.  (She moves moved on to horror on Friday.)  I gave her Genreflecting, Teen Genreflecting (and darnit, I should have led her to NoveList).  I asked Caroline to check her favorite authors against our Alexandria catalog to make sure she was promoting authors we had on the shelves.  Her first effort is on the top of this post.

I thought this would be a very cool project for any student volunteers.  And then I started thinking about another strategy.

I can see students sharing favorite authors around their own names and using those Wordles to display as peer book recommendations–along with a display of books, of course.

I did one as a sample. 

Wordle: joycereads

Note: If you choose to create Wordles like this, do it in the Advanced area. This will allow you to easily set the weight of words and to keep first and last names together.

Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza


  1. Susan E. F. says:

    I can’t wait to start playing with this. Thanks.

  2. Love it! You can assign colors in the advanced area also.

  3. Thanks for showing the advanced version. The idea didn’t click until seeing your example with your wordle. For all of my Dewey signs (idea stolen from your blog!) I mushed the 2 word phrases together. Thank you!! 🙂

  4. Yay: a way to control Wordle. You truly are a goddess!

  5. joycevalenza says:

    Wish I could claim goddess status, but it was really Caroline who discovered the trick!

  6. I love Wordle and use it all the time to create graphics. My favorite was having students do a word-association activity about how they perceive and see what the prevailing ideas were.

    But, I don’t point my students to the site because it can have seriously obscene material. Have you seen any of that? Or is my K-8 bias showing?

  7. Correction to my above comment:

    about how they perceive the library


  8. unshelved020 says:

    Simple, but marvelous! Thanks for the great idea.

  9. Carolyn Foote says:

    Love Wordle too….

    Oops, Joyce, I think you may have meant that I wrote the article 😉
    I love Cathy Jo, too!

  10. Carolyn Foote says:

    Thanks for the good author idea 🙂

  11. I wanted to use wordle in my K-8 school, but alas, it is blocked.

  12. I have my students generate the content and then I create the wordle at home. Considering the obscenity on the site, I wouldn’t have students use the site.

  13. Thanks for the idea Joyce. I’ve used it to decorate the front pages of each of my subject research wikis. Besides Dewey signs, Wordle-generated signs for the Reading Olympics and Battle of the Books shelves would be decorative too.

  14. I also use Wordle to create signage for my K-5 library fiction bookshelves, highlighting authors last year’s fifth graders enjoyed. The Wordle signs are colorful and provide a fun means of linking past and current readers.

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