Graph Words: a simple visual thesaurus

You have to love the social media sites and the sharing that is happening. I collected the tool from a Larry Ferlazzo post  late last year, who got it from a post from Richard Byrne via his Free Technology for Teachers site.

This is nice little tool that might help students – especially if they are visual learners.

I often notice a word that is being used too frequently when students are writing. Using a thesaurus seems to be a bit of a chore for a number of our students and some of these same thesauruses do not look very user friendly, especially for a student who already has an issue with language. This is where Graph Words could be a good alternative resource for students who need of some help in selecting new words to introduce to their writing. It is a very easy-to-use visual thesaurus that could assist students to improve their writing – and language skills as whole.

The visual tool Graph Words can provide webs of related words. For example the word “nice” is often used when there are many other more interesting and perhaps more contextually appropriate words that could be used instead.  Type “nice” into Graph Words and a web of alternative word choices comes up on the screen. The word you are searching for will appear in the center of the display, and with alternative word suggestions around it. Click on any word in that web to generate a new web of more related words. 

The webs you create can be downloaded as a PNG image. You could create some word webs for  words your students use most often in your classroom then download the word web images to display in your classroom or on a digital page.

If you hover over the nubs between the words you can see meanings as to how they relate to each other.

There is also a simple colour code to the words.


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