I have used VisualThesaurus for years now and always found it to be a fun way to look up new words. The visual presentation and animation is very engaging and I think the perfect tool for students who need to learn new vocabulary. VisualThesaurus truly makes it fun to learn new words and is so inviting that you inevitably spend more time playing around with the words presented. I just learned last week that VisualThesaurus has released VocabGrabber a new vocabulary tool that lets you paste the text you are interested in analyzing and then by clicking on a word in a what looks like a "word cloud" you can look up the definition in the familiar VisualThesaurus way.
I decided to give it a try and downloaded the book Pride and Prejudice from Project Gutenberg and selected some text from the book and pasted it into VisualThesaurus VocabGrabber. Once I clicked on the Create Word List button VocabGrabber quickly generated my "word cloud" and I could then click on a word and get the definition. VocabGrabber also shows you the word in context and categories the words based on different subjects. I'm sure teachers will find this tool handy to engage students in learning new vocabulary. It is an ideal way to help students analyze text who may not have strong vocabulary skills. What a great tool for differentiating vocabulary instruction. Let me know what you think?