The Wordsmyth Children’s Dictionary-Thesaurus is a thoughtfully-written dictionary–a tool for exploration of words and meanings– designed for upper elementary and middle school students (grades 3 to 8). The display includes, among other features, audio pronunciations, forms of the headword, definitions, example sentences, photos, and colorful illustrations. The app can be used with or without an internet connection.
Definitions for the Children’s Dictionary-Thesaurus are written specifically for children, in a clear and uncomplicated style, for native speakers as well as ELLs. Definitions use a controlled vocabulary and simple sentence structure. In addition, thousands of easy-to-understand example sentences, photos, and illustrations enhance understanding of the meanings of words and make learning fun.
Spanish and Chinese support for ELLs
Wordsmyth Children’s Dictionary provides special support for English Language Learners whose native language is Spanish or Chinese. All 14,000 headwords in each of their senses have been translated into Spanish and Chinese. In cases where a headword cannot be translated with equivalent words, a liberal translation is provided in addition to a literal one. In addition, every example sentence accompanying a definition has been translated. This gives a child a clear understanding of exactly which meaning the word has in his or her own language and also a strong sense of how it is used in the world and its importance for learning.
Synonyms, Antonyms, and Similars: Wordsmyth’s Integrated Thesaurus
One unique feature of Wordsmyth Dictionaries is the integration of a thesaurus into the dictionary presentation. Wordmyth’s thesaurus includes synonyms, antonyms, and words that are similar in meaning to the headword. The thesaurus words are matched with individual senses of a word rather than just presented as a “pot of words” under the headword. In Wordsmyth, synonyms, antonyms, and similar words appear along with their corresponding definitions. For example, synonyms for the headword “hot” referring to high temperature, “hot” referring to spiciness of food, and “hot” referring to an angry temper are matched with and appear along with their appropriate definitions in the entry for “hot.”
Another great feature of the thesaurus is that the words are linked with their own entries so that one click on a synonym, for example, will let a child view the meaning of that synonym in that word’s own entry. Going back to the original entry is as simple as an additional click.
Unique to our Children’s Dictionary is the Word Explorer: a word-finding and knowledge-exploration feature. It is an index of related words that allows a child to find words connected with multiple topics and to explore whole networks of words and their meanings. So, for example, under the Topic “Communication,” the keyword “art” is listed. Clicking on “art” leads the child to discover words that describe types of art, people who make art, things used in art, places where art can be found, and many other categories of information relating to the topic. With the help of the Word Explorer, a child can learn new concepts and make new connections among ideas, make many new words part of his or her vocabulary, and start to discover how words are key to an understanding of the world.
Vulgar words filter
Our Children’s Dictionary includes words that are essential for children’s vocabulary development—fourteen thousand of them! However, words that are used primarily to cause offense or are generally considered very offensive in our society are not included in this dictionary intended for children. Vulgar words tend to be learned through natural exposure, and we feel it is within the province of caregivers and educators to decide when and how to help children shape their view of these words. For our part, we are more concerned with giving children the necessary words and concepts to succeed in school and to become good readers and communicators.