Literacy 4-6

Systems Change
Literacy 4-6 > Strategies > Web-based Dictionary & Thesaurus

Web-based Dictionary & Thesaurus


Web-based dictionaries and thesauruses can serve as visual and audio resources for students to expand their Vocabulary knowledge. Along with easy access to definitions, web dictionaries and thesauruses can provide audio pronunciations to foster students' Phonological Processing, in turn helping students understand and remember words more readily.

Use It in the Classroom

At 5:00, watch how this teacher introduces digital dictionaries and takes her class through exercises to understand their features compared to print dictionaries. Tying the elements to concepts in class like parts of speech and sentence creation also supports Foundational Writing Skills.

  • Incorporating web dictionaries and thesaurus into a Vocabulary lesson allows learners to quickly search and understand unfamiliar words. When learners look up challenging words while they read, they monitor their comprehension and activate cognitive processes that support increased recall and consolidation to Long-term Memory.
  • Design It into Your Product

    Videos are chosen as examples of strategies in action. These choices are not endorsements of the products or evidence of use of research to develop the feature.

    Learn how the Merriam-Webster Dictionary app allows learners to conveniently search for and define unfamiliar words. By offering voice search and audio pronunciation functions, this product supports learners who prefer audio over text. The embedded quizzes also allow for continued Vocabulary building and practice.

  • Word Central is a kid-friendly Merriam-Webster web dictionary that also includes a thesaurus, rhyming dictionary, and word games. When learners misspell a word, the dictionary offers suggestions to help students search for the correct word.
  • Factors Supported by this Strategy