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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Visual Thesaurus - More than Just Another Word

When I find something useful, I like to share it.  When I find something useful and educational, I have to share it and talk about it.  In this case, I am talking about Visual Thesaurus

I am always seeking to find ways to improve my children's ability to write, understand, and improve their language skills, and when I found this, I knew it would be a great resource - not just for my kids, but for me too.

Let me introduce you to Visual Thesaurus...

VTAbout by you.

2 Versions - Desktop and Online.  I signed up for the Online Edition and for 4 licenses for me and my 3 little chillins.

VTLookUpWord by you.

More than just looking up a word .....

VTWeb by you.

But also a visual sampling of the web of connecting words with similar meanings and their webs.

VTSpellingBee by you.

Challenge yourself and each other with the Spelling Bee.  I especially love this feature for teaching my children.

VTMathWords by you.

Think you understand Math?  Poetry?  Scientific Classifications?  Think again.  This feature is for Teachers and for Teaching and will help you build lessons around the Language of Mathematics.

VTCrossword Puzzle by you.

Enjoy Crossword Puzzles?  Want to challenge your children?  Check this feature out in Visual Thesaurus.

VTWord of the Day by you.

I don't know about the rest of you out there, but I love Language and Language Arts.  I love to write and I love the way language enables us all to be expressive and communicate intelligently.  For that reason, I love this feature - Word of the Day - and I like challenging my children to use the word several times throughout the day and write a sentence with this word.  The more they use it, even in a single day, the more likely they are to remember it and start using it in their everyday language. 

Think about this - you want your children to be able to communicate effectively both in the written word and in their ability to communicate with others face-to-face.  You want them to sound intelligent and project themselves clearly and with confidence.  I want these things for my children and although this Word of the Day won't necessarily do that for them, it will help - even just a little.  I like new words like "eutherian" don't you?

So what is this Visual Thesaurus anyway?  It is a "Think Map" - literally.

In their own words....

The Visual Thesaurus is an interactive dictionary and thesaurus which creates word maps that blossom with meanings and branch to related words. Its innovative display encourages exploration and learning. You'll understand language in a powerful new way.

Say you have a meaning in mind, like "happy." The VT helps you find related words, from "cheerful" to "euphoric." The best part is the VT works like your brain, not a paper-bound book. You'll want to explore just to see what might happen. You'll discover -- and learn -- naturally and intuitively. You'll find the right word, write more descriptively, free associate -- and gain a more precise understanding of the English language.

The Visual Thesaurus is available in both the Desktop Edition and Online Edition. (click here to compare the two)

With both versions of the Visual Thesaurus, you can:

  • Find the right word. The VT has over 145,000 English words and 115,000 meanings. Find the word you need and discover related meanings.
  • Develop a better vocabulary. See how words are used in different parts of speech.
  • Use words precisely. The intuitive interface helps you find words through their semantic relationship with other words and meanings.
  • Master word usage. Roll over a meaning to see its definition and example sentences that express that meaning.
  • Improve your grammar. Meanings are color-coded to indicate parts of speech.
  • Explore 39,000 proper nouns. Historical figures, phrases and trademarks are included. Look up Mozart, Manda or simply, "M."
  • Check your spelling. The VT suggests a word if you spell it wrong.
  • Hear words pronounced correctly. The VT offers both American and British pronunciations (Internet connection necessary)
  • Personalize your experience. Use the Settings Panel to control font size, filter content, display up to 17 semantic relationships and more.
  • Browse language in 2D or 3D. Rotate word maps in three dimensions to reveal complex relationships.
  • Connect to the Internet. Right-click on any word to launch an Internet search for images or information.

With the Online Edition you can also:

  • Access the VT from anywhere. No software to install, access from virtually any computer with an Internet connection.
  • Email word maps to friends. Share your favorite words with friends and family.
  • Explore five additional languages. Search for words in Spanish, German, Italian French and Dutch, as well as English. (International features are still in beta)
  • Unlimited access to our magazine. Read features about language and the creative process and join a community passionate about words, language and creativity.
If you would like to discover all that Visual Thesaurus can do for you and your children visit Visual Thesaurus by clicking the link below.

Happy Homeschooling!


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Improve your Vocabulary! Look up any word in my favorite Dictionary and get sample sentence usage as well!

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