Visual Thesaurus for Education

Enrich literacy through inquiry

The Visual Thesaurus is a tremendous resource for improving your students' reading, writing, and communication skills. Students find the Visual Thesaurus captivating and playful, and are quickly engaged in learning new words and concepts. The Visual Thesaurus can be used by a wide range of students from elementary school to the college level and beyond.

To find out more about how you can bring the Visual Thesaurus to your institution, click here and fill out the requested information.

Educational Features

With the Visual Thesaurus, you can integrate technology into a standards-based curriculum and help your students:

  • Find the right word and explore. The Visual Thesaurus has over 145,000 words and 115,000 meanings. Your students can search for the word they're looking for and then follow a trail of related concepts.
  • Improve their grasp of the English language. The Visual Thesaurus's intuitive interface helps your students find words through their semantic relationship with other words and meanings. Its focus on connecting words through their meanings results in a more precise understanding of the English language.
  • Hear words pronounced correctly. The Visual Thesaurus offers a choice between a British and an American English accent.
  • Understand the relationships between English words and meanings. In addition to synonyms, the Visual Thesaurus shows 16 kinds of semantic relationships. Your students will see that a nose is part of a face, that a horned poppy is a type of flower, and that epinephrine is a type of vasoconstrictor.
  • Expand their search to the Internet. From any word, your students can initiate an Internet search for either web pages or images.
  • Check spelling. The Visual Thesaurus suggests alternatives so your students can find the right word even when they're not sure of the spelling.

Benefits for Students of all Ages

Institutional online site licenses offer a number of features that make it ideal for a school environment. These include:

  • Ages 8-11: For younger students, the Visual Thesaurus makes clear what a thesaurus is and how powerful a tool it can be. Through the Visual Thesaurus's innovative interfaces, students can immediately see all the words and meanings that are related to their word. Students also learn how the words are related and can learn from sentence examples, pronunciations, and word usage. The Visual Thesaurus reinforces lessons on the parts of speech and on understanding words in context. Plus there is built-in spell checking, which is crucial for this age group!
  • Ages 12-14: For this age group, seeing the richness of the English language can spark explorations in vocabulary and word usage. It's not unusual to see students from this age group spending hours clicking through the Visual Thesaurus, finding words that they hadn't seen before, and listening to pronunciations. As they explore, they are learning new words and concepts, and discovering subtleties of the English language.
  • Ages 15-18: Older high school students can use the Visual Thesaurus as a vocabulary builder and will benefit from using more descriptive words in their creative writing, poetry writing and essay writing. The Visual Thesaurus also helps students prepare for the SAT. Science and medical terms from the Visual Thesaurus dictionary can be integrated into upper level science courses.
  • Ages 19 and up: College students and adult learners can use the Visual Thesaurus across a wide range of coursework: English, Literature, Creative Writing, Humanities, and Social Sciences. The medical and science definitions can also be employed in science coursework to learn about related biological and anatomical systems. Professionals in writing and creative fields like advertising praise the Visual Thesaurus for its ability to spark creativity and the brainstorming processes.
  • English as a Second Language: Students who are learning English as a second language love the Visual Thesaurus because it helps them to understand that many words can mean the same thing, and that there are subtle differences among similar concepts. The meanings list can help in comparing word meanings at a glance. Sentence examples help the student confirm that the right English word is chosen. Word pronunciations also help in the learning process for ESL students. Also, subscribers to the Visual Thesaurus automatically have access to our beta program for the International Edition.
  • English-speaking Students Learning Other Languages: We offer the Visual Thesaurus in multiple languages through our International Edition (Beta). Students can try the Visual Thesaurus in French, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, or German. They can see how words are related in different languages to aid their memorization of words and understanding of word concepts.

Features for Administrators and Educators

Institutional online site licenses offer a number of features that make it ideal for a school environment. These include:

  • Teachers' Guide and Student Workbook. We offer lesson plans that are designed to improve reading, writing, and vocabulary skills. These lessons can be used as the basis for integrating the Visual Thesaurus into your curriculum.
  • Flexible Authentication Options. We offer a choice of three authentication options: Referrer-based Authentication, IP-based Authentication, and Username/Password Authentication. You can use a combination of these to provide access to your students and teachers both at school and at home.
  • Administrator Control of Content Filtering. As an administrator, you decide which of the four levels of content filtering is appropriate for your students.
  • No Installation Necessary. If you choose the online subscription option, students can access the Visual Thesaurus immediately with no need for installation. In addition, you will automatically get new features, updates, and improvements.
  • Adding a Search Box on Your Web Page or Intranet. You can put a search box on your Intranet that allows your students to open the Visual Thesaurus. We provide you with the code.
  • Access to Subscriber-only Features. Subscribers get access to our subscriber-only features such as Word of the Day and our online magazine dedicated to language and the creative process.

Quotes From the Educational Press

"Visual Thesaurus goes even further, creating a unique, captivating visual representation of the English language that could never be bound in a book... mesmerizing, entrancing, inventive, enthralling, imaginative enchanting and fanciful..."
- MaryAnn Karre, Horace Mann Elementary School, Binghamton, NY (for School Library Journal)
"Visual Thesaurus is a superbly conceived and designed piece of software that is as addictive as it is useful, and is suited to ages ten to adult."
- ICT For Education
"Best Content Utility Software: The Visual Thesaurus is just what I need to get students excited about learning vocabulary..."
- TechEdge
- Education World

Praise from Teachers

"The Visual Thesaurus is a revelation. The web of verbal connections it opens up is more than an aid in finding the right word, it also assists in making the appropriate, and often unexpected, connections. The program's think maps provide definitions and explanations that literally clarify one's thought processes and spark one's creativity. As a result, it becomes much easier to say what one intended to say."
- Melvyn L. Fein Ph.D., Professor of Sociology, Kennesaw State University
"Wow! I'm an English teacher / writer by trade who is also an ESL tutor for PhD students involved in medical research. This site is just what I've been looking for to help my advanced ESL student with his research papers. Great job..."
- S.N.
"I'm an instant fan, as a teacher of linguistics to many students who have not had any exposure to the ideas or the conceptual frameworks that support a developing understanding the ideas. These visual systems seem as though they might help, appealing to intuitions about what images say about relationships and such."
- S.K.

To find out more about how you can bring the Visual Thesaurus to your institution, click here and fill out the requested information.