Every Friday I’ll send you a wonderful website that my classes and my parents love. I think you’ll find they’ll be a favorite of your students as they are of mine.
3rd grade-8th grade
Visuwords is an online graphical dictionary where you can look up words to find their meanings and associations with other words and concepts. The tool enables you to produce diagrams and learn how words associate and is another of the great Open Source websites (yes, they give their source code as well as the web site away for free)–like Visual Thesaurus, Wordle, Tagxedo–that makes the study of words as visual as a picture.You plug a word into the search field and up pops the connections to other words, its part of speech as well as associated words. If the net is particularly large, you can scroll in or out with the mouse wheel to see the big picture or the details. You can also click-drag the picture to focus in on disparate parts.
My fifth graders plugged words in and loved watching the clouds that grew from the simple start. Then they dragged a node and watched the entire net re-adapt to the new position.
Anything that gets kids excited about words, I’m all for.
Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.