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Visuwords Online Visual Dictionary: Synonym Chart Assignment

Example Web Site and/or Technical Equipment Required


Website Example:

More Ways

Computer(s), Internet access, projector, word processing software (optional)

Activity Description

In this activity, students will work individually or in pairs or small groups to create synonym charts using the Web site Visuwords.


  1. Make sure that the Example Web Site (above) is not blocked at your school site.
  2. The site is Flash based, so be sure that the Internet browsers you plan to use have the current version of the Flash plug-in.
  3. Prepare a list of commonly-used (and overused) words to assign (such as big, nice, good, etc.). The Example Document (above) shows a synonym chart for the word "big."
  4. Become familiar with the site and its legend.
  5. Decide if you will have students work individually, in pairs, or in small groups. Also decide how to distribute the link to the Web site to your students. There are some options shown in the Teaching Tips section below.


  1. Explain to students that you would like them to expand their vocabularies and learn synonyms for commonly-used and over-used words, providing examples, so that they can speak and write using more descriptive terminology.
  2. Distribute a word list and assign a word or words to an individual, pairs, or a small group.
  3. Have students open the Example Web Site (above) for Visuwords. Students will type in their assigned or chosen word(s) in the field near the top of the page. Demonstrate and explain the legend on the left side of the page.
  4. Have students write down synonyms for their words. Have students create a synonym chart (see Example Document - Sample Synonyms for Big Chart) in a word-processing program, and print it. You could also use a flip chart if you wanted to do this as a class.
  5. Display the synonym charts in the classroom. Encourage students to consult the charts to increase their vocabulary..

Teacher Tips

  • The Web site Snappywords┬ácan also be used for this assignment.
  • In order get students to the Web site, you can make it a Favorite or Bookmark the site on each computer browser, e-mail them the link, e-mail a word processing document with the link in it, or post the link on your class Web page.

More Ways

  • The site is helpful for students to use as a visual dictionary anytime they need to better understand vocabulary taught in class or use in class texts.



  • Intermediate Low
  • Intermediate High
  • Advanced


Basic Communication

  • (7.2) Demonstrate ability to use critical thinking skills
  • (7.4) Demonstrate study skills
  • (7.7) Demonstrate the ability to use information and communication technology
  • (7.1) Identify or demonstrate effective skills and practices in accomplishing goals
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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN200091-A2 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.