Visual Thesaurus VocabGrabber:
New Online Tool Intelligently Extracts Vocabulary
A Boon to Students, Teachers, English Language Learners
Thinkmap Visual Thesaurus has launched an innovative new tool called VocabGrabber ( that helps teachers and students target the key vocabulary from a text within seconds. Powered by the award-winning Visual Thesaurus software, VocabGrabber intelligently extracts words from any document and demonstrates how those words are used in context. It's a boon for language arts teachers, students of English at all levels of proficiency, or anyone who wants fresh insights into how language works.
VocabGrabber is easy to use. Simply copy a passage (up to about 100 pages) into a box on the VocabGrabber web site (, click the Grab Vocabulary button, and an interactive visualization of vocabulary words and phrases immediately appears. Or add a VocabGrabber button to your toolbar, and you can grab vocabulary words from a web page with one click.
What makes VocabGrabber especially useful is the way in which the words are organized. VocabGrabber compares how often words appear in the text with the frequency of these words in standard written English overall. Grabbing the vocabulary from the United States Bill of Rights, for instance, highlights significant legal terms like probable cause and cruel and unusual punishment. Grabbing the opening of the Charles Dickens classic Oliver Twist, meanwhile, will quickly zero in on words like workhouse, gruel, and pauper.
Students who take advantage of VocabGrabber get to see how words are used in context instead of memorizing dry word lists. Vocabgrabber makes vocabulary come alive, providing meaningful real-life examples of words in action. It also encourages students to explore the connections between words and meanings through visually engaging word maps.
Teachers and students can use VocabGrabber to highlight vocabulary specific to a curricular subject area. That means they can work on building background knowledge for a given text -- focusing on just the science-related words from the latest news coverage about swine flu, or just the artistic and literary terms in an article about the history of poetry. Additionally, VocabGrabber can be used to select only those words that are typically taught in vocabulary instruction, extremely helpful for students preparing for local standardized tests, or national tests like the SAT, ACT, GMAT, GRE, and TOEFL.
VocabGrabber can shed new light on any type of text: a newspaper article, a book chapter, a speech, or a historical document. Teachers can choose the vocabulary items that students most need to know, and together they can preview the words that are key to improving reading comprehension. Who says vocabulary instruction has to be boring? Give VocabGrabber a try today!
The Visual Thesaurus:
For more information, please contact:
Ben Zimmer
Executive Producer, The Visual Thesaurus
Thinkmap. Visualize Complex Information.