Wordnik is an online dictionary/thesaurus that’s a doddle to use. Just type in the word you want to find out more about and hit enter. Wordnik then finds definitions, examples and heaps of extra information about that word. That extra info includes photos from the web about that word, recent relevant Twitter posts and whether or not it’s a valid Scrabble word!
Of course there’s always the chance your students could use Wordnik to search for funny or rude words. The site does add a exclamation mark graphic next to inappropriate words but, as with any other web tool you use in lessons, you just have to monitor its use carefully.
How to use Wordnik in the classroom
1. Instead of using a dictionary or thesaurus, get students to use Wordnik to look up definitions.
2. Make use of the ‘word of the day’ feature as a quick literacy focus at the start or end of lessons.
3. Collate difficult vocabulary during your lessons. If there are words that lots of children get stuck with then give responsibility to a group of students to look up and share information on those words with the class.
4. A nice homework task would be to ask students to search and share an unusual word they’ve found on Wordnik.
Thanks to Dan Roberts for this