No matter what learning model you’re in these days, we’ve all started transitioning our paper graphic organizers to some type of digital activity for students. In the future when introducing a new vocabulary word, try ditching the paper word web and go digital! I promise it’s worth it!
I’ve pulled together a list of the best sites that offer virtual word webs for FREE. Talk about easy, one stop shopping! Each of these resources provides: definition(s), examples, synonyms and most importantly connections to other words that you can use for extension activities.
💌 Before we dive head first into making sure you know all the ways to bring word webs to the next level, I want to invite you to join our Word Lovers Community! Whether you are brand new to teaching vocabulary, or a veteran looking to spice up your word learning activities, all are welcome. By signing up, you get vocabulary teaching tips and activity ideas sent directly to your inbox once a month.
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Why use a virtual word web?
Along with being visually and cognitively engaging, these tools are also easy to use and accessible to all. Students at all reading levels and English language learners now have a scaffolded dictionary right at their fingertips.
I know what you’re thinking … “how do I know for sure that only looking at a word web online is going to support my students learning our new vocabulary words?” I promise, I’ve done a lot of research themed around how to make vocabulary words stick, and a tried and true strategy is to use visual aids to support word learning – pictures, drawings, symbols, graphic organizers, etc.
Best Sites to Build Virtual Word Webs
- Visuwords : This site is visually engaging, offering the different meanings and parts of speech of each word. Visuwords also includes connections to similar concepts.
- Lexipedia: This is a multi-lingual interactive word web, it offers kid friendly definitions, and sentence examples. In addition, this site explains each meaning of the word, including the different parts of speech. The definitions and webs offered are thorough and in depth.
- Visual Thesaurus: “Making the white space talk.” This site is very straight forward, giving students a “Thinkmap” of great synonyms and example sentences. It is extremely user friendly for printing as well. The print option gives a lot of information on each word – great for accommodating students when writing about the word of the week in their Vocabulary Notebook.
Extension: When you print the Visual Thesaurus web, it creates a digital organizer that is any ELA teacher’s dream!
Vocabulary Graphic Organizers for Note Taking
Although visual aids are a great way to help engage students in vocabulary learning, we all know that the act of recording your findings also helps each word stick in their busy little brains. So, if you want to extend the virtual word web, hold students accountable for their vocabulary learning, and have them record the new word web they discovered, I’ve created 3 resources for your classroom!
Interactive Vocabulary Notebooks are the perfect way to help students keep track of all of the words they’ve learned this year. These notebooks act like personal dictionaries and help to archive their learning! Included in this resource pack are blank word cards and storage envelopes which can be helpful for practicing the meaning of new words outside of the notebook.
Use these simple graphic organizers to introduce a new focus word, give students an opportunity to explore word meaning and use them to spark conversations in your classroom! 5 Word Webs, 4 Word Maps and 3 Blank Templates are included in this resource pack.
This Google Slides interactive notebook template is the perfect way to keep a digital log of all of the vocabulary words students learn this year. Plus, they will have a chance to dig deeper and advance their knowledge of each focus word by identifying examples and synonyms of the word.
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