Thursday, 27 October 2011

Explore Lexical Relationships

Graph Words is one of those websites like Wordle that seems, because of its simplicity, like a gift from the heavens for English language teachers.



Graph Words is a visual thesaurus that it is really simple to use. You just type in the word you want to explore and click on 'Draw'.


You will then see a colour coordinated web of word relationships. You can then click on any word within the web to explore the relationships to that word and so on. If you hover your mouse over the 'nodes' that connect the words you can also get a definition for the word relationship.



One of the great things about the site is that you can save each web as an image with a single click, so you can use the images in your teaching materials. The site also works well on mobile devices such as iPads /iPhones etc. and you can also drag and arrange the related words to regroup them.

What I like about it
  • Clear, colourful, free and simple
  • Great to be able to save the images so easily
  • Dragging and rearranging words should work well on an IWB
  • Nice way to explore word relationships
  • Great that it is built on html5 not Flash, so it works on Apple mobile devices.

Some ideas for using Graph Words for English teaching
  • Give students a text and get them to see how many words they can change and substitute in new words
  • Give students two words and get the students to try to find the words that connected the first word to the second (like 6 degrees of seperation)
  • Get students to include a word graph with vocab records of new words they are learning or words the are revising.
  • Create word graphs and hide the central word. See if students can guess the hidden word.
  • Get students to try to predict related words then create a word graph to see how many they got right.
I hope you and your students enjoy using Word Graph and if you think of other ways to use it, please leave your suggestions in the comments below.

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Best

Nik Peachey



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