The Book environment in WILD allows the child to access and explore dictionary entries in an interactive e-book format. Concise versions of entries are displayed as if on pages of a print dictionary, and clicking on any word will open up its full expanded entry. Unlike standard online dictionaries which present each entry in isolation, this format allows the child to browse entries alphabetically before and after the word they have looked up, and to treat the dictionary as a reading experience in and of itself. Features such as the thumb index and guide words at the top of the page can help introduce conventional dictionary skills that can be applied to print dictionaries a child may use in the classroom or at home.
Every definition in the Book is written in a full-sentence, descriptive style. Unlike the abstract definitions found in many dictionaries, these entries explain the meaning of words in terms of the everyday experiences of children while using a strictly controlled vocabulary and uncomplicated sentence structure.
In expanded Book entries, definitions combine with entertaining and often story-like example sentences, audio pronunciation of the entry word, additional meanings of the word, and Spanish and Chinese translations. Altogether, the expanded entries in WILD contain over three thousand images—artists’ illustrations, photographs, and animations—to help illuminate the meaning of words and the ways they are used.
These very readable, expanded dictionary entries serve another purpose as well. They provide seamless connections between the four visual environments that make up WILD. In all four environments, the full Book entry for any word is just a click away. In addition, the entries themselves act as hubs between the four environments. If a child exploring in the Picture Dictionary clicks to access a word’s definition in the Book, the dictionary entry will show them all the information there but will also allow them to go see this word where it appears in the Collections or in the settings of the World. It’s as simple as clicking the links under “Places with this word” in the upper right-hand corner of the Book entry.
The Book can, of course, be used simply to look up the meaning of a word by using the search box that appears in the sidebar. While children are more likely to use the Book by popping up entries while exploring in the various environments—wanting to read about or see more images for the word “jaguar” in the Mammals collection, for example—teachers may often wish to search for a particular item in the Book for direct teaching or to start a discussion.
See other WILD visual environments: