I was writing some of my research this morning and was trying to find a definition for a word to include in my writing I stumbled upon the online dictionaries which are created specifically for children and could be used in classrooms. It would be a great resource for the children to have access to. However there is a time and a place for the dictionary and I would not want my children to become reliant on this as the only source of information.
1. As the children are writing they can circle any words which they want to find another interesting word for (eg the boy was that he…), they could then go to the thesaurus and find other words they could use for happy.
2. You could get the class to create charts of synonyms, which would be commonly used in their writing (happy, sad, said etc)
3. Use the dictionary to find definitions of words they are unsure of.
4, Use the dictionary to teach alphabetical order.
5. Create quizs and treasure hunts where children need to find things in the dictionary and answer the questions to find the treasure.
6. Have a word of the day. With the class each morning look up the meaning of a word which becomes the word of the day. Then use the word in a sentence. The children then see how many ties that day they can use that word in the correct context. The word can then be added to the word wall.
http://www.wordcentral.com/ - I LOVE this website. It allows chn on the top tab to search for a word, it then offers alternatives to the word. At the right hand side of the page it then allows you to use the thesaurus to search for words which are similar to happy. I have inserted a screen shot below of my search for the word happy.
http://www.wordsmyth.net/-has 3 dictionaries, illustrated, intermediate and advanced.
http://kids.yahoo.com/reference/dictionary/english - Kids Yahoo Dictionary.is anAmerican Heritage Dictionary by Houghton Mifflin
A dictionary and thesaurus app for the iPad.
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dictionary.com-dictionary/id364740856?mt=8 - this is a FREE app which would be suitable for the upper grades
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ithesaurus-plus/id368434289?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D4- ithesaurus plus is a FREE thesaurus for the ipad
https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/wordweb-dictionary/id309627313?mt=8 Word web dictionary which is a FREE dictionary for the iPad