http://www.wordle.net/ is an easy online tool to produce word clouds. Word clouds are great for students to get the gist of a text and examining word choice as part of their study. In English they are valuable for students to ascertain the themes/issues of a text by sifting through the plot details to discern the important elements they contain.
This word cloud of the NSW Stage 6 English (Standard) Syllabus has been used to introduce my students to the demands of this course. As well as the various elements that students need to consider, it demonstrates the course is centred around students. It generated great discussion around why ’students’ is such a dominant element of the word cloud. They came to see that not only do they have a responsibility to their study of English, but their responses need to provide are personal ones rather than simply regurgitating what they have been taught.