Digital tools for vocabulary

Before reading this article, I had no idea there were so many types of visual dictionary tools. One of the more interesting options is Lexipedia, which allows you to search a word (I chose “hybrid”), and then see synonyms or antonyms; adjective, noun, or verb forms of the word; and definitions for each related word. All of this info is arranged in a pleasing-looking web.


Another fascinating site is Wordnik, and when you put in a word…get ready to ride the roller coaster of that word, because you are about to be immersed. Immersed in the world of your word.

Newsela & Izzit – Read at your level!

I want my students to read more. But they all have different interests, and I can teach them skills through any content. What are some sites with solid stories and a variety of fresh content?
  • Well, Newsela (also an app that students can get from the Chrome Web Store!) is great – you, as the teacher, create an account. They create an account and join your class. Then you can assign them articles to read, or they can choose their own. If an article is too difficult for them, they can adjust the reading level on the right-hand side of the page – they will still get the same content as another person who reads the same article. You can decide what to do next – look for references to research? Look for references to past historical events? Look for transitions? Every class could use some more current reading, probably. 🙂
  • Izzit requires you to create a free account, but they offer a ton of constantly updated content – plus! – pre-reading questions and (if you set it up) quizzes for the articles. Again, there are many ways any teacher can use current events articles in class – and the more kids read, even if it’s in small doses throughout the day, the better.