Wordsmyth is for kids

The Wordsmyth Illustrated Learner’s Dictionary (WILD) is Wordsmyth’s most exciting, colorful, and interactive dictionary. WILD is geared toward children in Grades K to 2 as well as to young English Language Learners.

At the core of WILD is an abundantly illustrated dictionary that contains child-friendly, full-sentence definitions and example sentences for approximately 3,500 words.  The dictionary can, of course, be used by looking up a word in the search box, but a child may also explore the dictionary through the three distinct visual environments Wordsmyth has created: the World, the Collections, and the Book. All the environments are linked with each other in such ways that make it easy and fun to navigate from one environment to another. One may, for example, start by seeing the lobster in the Sea Animals collection, click to go to its entry in the Book, and jump from there to see it in the Ocean setting in the World–or, alternatively, go to see it in the Restaurant!

WILD’s three visual environments

In the WILD World, children can explore items as they appear in natural and human-made environments.  A child may choose to explore in Nature, seeing what plants and animals exist in a variety of surroundings, such as the Desert, the Seashore, or the Forest; or he or she may explore in the City, looking at what objects and types of people can be found in different settings such as the School, the Restaurant, the Hospital, or the Grocery Store.  In any setting, there are opportunities to explore on different levels.  Once in the Seashore setting, for example, a child can navigate into the Tide Pool or into the Ocean and see what creatures and plants might exist there. 

Or, once in the Restaurant, a child can zoom in to look at the menu or navigate into the kitchen and open the refrigerator! 

At any point, a user can see the objects in a setting with or without word labels and with or without Spanish or Chinese translation.  All word labels can be clicked on to access audio pronunciations as well as to link with a word’s dictionary entry.  Once in the entry, one can easily navigate back to the same item in the World.

The WILD Collections allow children to explore words in categories, viewing artist renderings of hundreds of carefully selected and arranged items.

The Collections include a wide range of categories and subcategories, such as plants, parts of plants, things people do, people in their jobs, animals, mammals, invertebrates, parts of the human body, actions of the body, emotions, foods, spices, art materials, colors, and shapes.  Included in the Collections is also a collection called Maps, which is where a child will gain access to an interactive map of the world.  From the top level, the World Map, a child can navigate to deeper levels while being able to link at any point to audio pronunciations and dictionary entries for more information on the regions and countries being explored.

In the WILD Book, concise versions of the dictionary entries are displayed almost as if on pages of a print dictionary, and clicking on any word will open up its full, expanded entry, which will then allow the user access to any additional meanings of the word, entertaining example sentences coupled with each definition, Spanish and Chinese translations of the word, and any additional illustrations and photos. Text and audio pronunciation, as well as part of speech information, can also be viewed in every full entry.

The Book environment has been designed not only to look like a print dictionary but to resemble a print dictionary in the way the pages can be turned, allowing a user to browse page by page, looking at illustrations and photographs, and reading definitions of words that catch his or her interest. 

In addition to the World, the Collections, and the Book, WILD also offers a Picture Dictionary. In the Picture Dictionary, words are defined by their illustration only. The word’s pronunciation can be heard by clicking on the provided audio icon. Each Picture Dictionary word is also linked to the word’s full entry in the Book, as well as to any other WILD environment in which the word appears. For example, from the entry for “snake” in the Picture Dictionary, the child can look under “Other places with this word” and see that the snake is also in the den in the Desert, in the cave in the Forest, and in the Reptiles and Amphibians collection. The child can then choose to go to any one of these places to see the items in these different environments.

This post merely scratches the surface of what WILD has to offer, but we hope it conveys some of the excitement we feel about this vibrantly-engaging educational resource.