Coolest LAB Sweatshirt EVER....Reading other people's blogs always makes me feel like such a slacker - it's good motivation, especially when I'm doing something worth sharing. Have you checked out Wordle? It is a website that you can paste any text into and it does a graphical representation of the frequency of the words in the body of your paragraph (or essay, chapter, book, etc.) and it will format the words in various ways with great fonts and colors at your disposal.
I had my library advisory board members generate a list of no more than 15 words they would use to describe the library (I asked they make their first word "library" so it would be biggest). I pasted them all together into Wordle and hit the create button and what you see above is what came out! The colorway happens to be the exact palette of my new renovated library. We plan on making this image the back of our LAB black hoodie sweatshirts (there will be a coordinated LAB logo on the front).
I think the educational uses for this are endless - take a look at the Wordle gallery to see some killer ideas. You can paste songs, books (I saw a chapter of Pride & Prejudice and it was fabulous), speeches, etc. My fabulous history-teaching husband was talking about how it would be interesting to take kid's free response essays and do an analysis of keywords. I know that I want to use it for my poetry class, not just to analyze poems, but also to do our brainstorming exercise for the first day and the last day where I have them write all the words they associate with poetry (the first day it's all words associated with a more traditional English class - rhyme, meter, assonance, etc. and at the end of the semester it's more like - life affirming, love, self-knowledge, and so on). I heart Wordle!!