Tuesday, November 30, 2010


This is a cool website that graphically shows connections between word definitions, derivations, and relationships. You can type in a word and have the graphic show the relationships, or if you have the time and inclination, hit the random button to get interesting word derivations and learn something new.

By double clicking your mouse over the different elements in the graphic, additional information pops up to elaborate on the words and related words. Color coding helps learners see the relationships between the words.

A cool way for students to find definitions of words in liu of dictionary.com.

I used this in my classroom having students define words related to our year long curriculum such as archetype, tragedy, comedy, romance, hero, courage, challenge, and fate.  Having the students then write about the web that appeared and the connections between the words supported by the web allowed them to internalize the vocabulary.

From the site:
Visuwords™ online graphical dictionary — Look up words to find their meanings and associations with other words and concepts. Produce diagrams reminiscent of a neural net. Learn how words associate.
Enter words into the search box to look them up or double-click a node to expand the tree. Click and drag the background to pan around and use the mouse wheel to zoom. Hover over nodes to see the definition and click and drag individual nodes to move them around to help clarify connections.
  • It's a dictionary! It's a thesaurus!
  • Great for writers, journalists, students, teachers, and artists.
  • The online dictionary is available wherever there’s an internet connection.
  • No membership required.

Visuword. Check it out.



  1. Thanks for posting this. I do quite a bit of vocabulary with my students, and hate them just sitting there using a dictionary plus a thesaurus. Takes forever for them to make vocabulary flashcards. They love using the computer so I'll definately try this site with them. I know it will make for a quieter and more productive classroom where they are not shouting out 'word number 1o on page 128'.

  2. I love this, but I just wish it was in Spanish. Something like this may exist, however, and I just haven't found it yet!

    I can envision various activities with Visuword, but I can't use it in English. Steve might be able to though.

    I tested it out and it is SO easy to use. Kids of any age could try this out. I did type in a few easy Spanish words like "amigo", "taco", and "amor" and the results are neat. I tried some more difficult words and nothing came up. Technology will continue though; I bet Visuword will exist in 10 languages soon!

  3. I tried a few words. Most of the webs it created were small, I found that superior filled the screen.

  4. Be sure to try out double clicking on any of the bubbles in the original web. New connections will pop out and reconnect with ideas that are already on the screen. This can help students move beyond the initial output definitions.

    And you are right, David! Wow, did superior ever fill the screen! Help does that too!