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Yearbook Ideas – Word clouds

A yearbook is all about looking back, so how about recording specific things which happened, where around, or in fashion while you were at school? These could include news stories, celebrities who shot to fame, fashion crazes, popular toys and gadgets, etc.

We’ve seen some really great yearbook page designs themed as ‘looking back’ and one of our favourite ideas uses word clouds (also referred to as tag clouds) – popular on websites and blogs, word clouds are quick snapshots using words of different sizes (depending on their frequency or popularity). Word clouds are easy to take in at a glance, visually attractive and fun. You could create different word clouds for different categories i.e. top sports people, favourite food, etc. or your could create on big word cloud with as many words as you can fit to describe your time at school!

Here’s a site which shows simple word clouds in action: http://www.abcya.com/word_clouds.htm place your words into the box and hit ‘randomize’ to see different word cloud shapes. Image Chef http://www.imagechef.com/ic/word_mosaic/ lets you choose from a few different shapes such as a heart, star, skull and cat. Image Chef also allows you to type in initials or numbers for your word cloud, however the saved image is very small (around 5cm at print resolution).

A more feature-rich word cloud generator is Tagxedo http://www.tagxedo.com/app.html go to the site and hit ‘Create’ (you need to install Microsoft Silverlight on your computer to use this). It has lots of shapes, colours and fonts to choose from, and your exported file is good enough to print. The following blog article gives a great low down on the online generators suggested above, and more http://www.whiteboardblog.co.uk/2011/09/8-word-cloud-makers-for-teachers/

Once you’ve generated and exported your word cloud, you could load it into a Yearbook Hub’s Manage Photos page.

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