5 Ways to Use Word Clouds in AAC Therapy

April 27, 2015 by - 3 Comments

5 Ways to Use Word Clouds in AAC Therapy
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Like many of you, I enjoy using fun websites in AAC therapy sessions. Word clouds are popular therapy tools, both because of their versatility and because they are fun and easy to make. Word clouds are images composed of words on a given topic, where the frequency of use of a word determines its size in the word cloud image. There are lots of websites and apps for this, and most are free. If you are looking for a way to build literacy into your language therapy activities, this may be an option worth exploring. Here are some ideas for prAACtical things to do.

  1. Build word knowledge: Use the word cloud to define new words, provide examples, and given synonyms. Once created, you can print these out for a word notebook or display on a vocabulary word wall. You can also keep a digital copy for a vocabulary notebook that is computer/web based, post it on a Facebook page or blog, or use it in a digital collage.5 Ways to Use Word Clouds in AAC Therapy
  2. Make a Mother’s Day or Father’s Day card: Work together to find descriptors, then print to make a nice card for mom or dad. Parents love when they get things that their kids actually made. This is a terrific tool for helping learners who are at the single word level create an authentic gift and strengthen their language skills at the same time.5 Ways to Use Word Clouds in AAC Therapy
  3. Thank a teacher or therapist: Use word clouds to express appreciation to a teacher, aide, or therapist. Enter the name multiple times that it is the largest word in the image, then add terms that describe the individual.5 Ways to Use Word Clouds in AAC Therapy
  4. Make a poster: Copy some text from a poem, passage, or website and paste it into a word cloud generator for a fun image that can be printed as a poster. It is a great way to show themes or main ideas, something we frequently work on in our language therapy. In this example, I pasted the text from the NJC Communication Bill of Rights hosted on the ASHA website.5 Ways to Use Word Clouds in AAC Therapy
  5. Expand lexical diversity: We’re often trying to help our AAC learners broaden their vocabularies and use a richer variety of words. Together, you and your client can brainstorm synonyms for common words and use them to make an image. The image then serves as a reminder of other terms we can use when talking or writing.5 Ways to Use Word Clouds in AAC Therapy5 Ways to Use Word Clouds in AAC Therapy

Word Cloud Generators

Do you have a creative way of using word clouds in your AAC work? We’d love to hear about it.

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This post was written by Carole Zangari


  • Chris Victor says:

    Prentke Romich has a new online tool that is supposed to work with any of the devices that collect usage data. (Caveat- If it is not a PRC device/app, then you will need to import using your computer.) The Realize Language tool can create word clouds based on usage which can be used for writing and expansion activities, as well as sharing data with the team. I have not used this tool yet, only attended a webinar.

    • Avatar photo Carole Zangari says:

      Thanks for that comment, Chris. It is really a fabulous tool and allows you to visualize the data in all sorts of ways. Hoping they make it easier to use with a range of SGDs. Thanks for sharing this!!

  • Akaban says:

    Thank you for sharing details of the cloud.

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