Tired of the way kids tend to use the same, tired-old words and phrases in their daily writing assignments? Snappy Words is a free online visual dictionary and thesaurus site which would be great for anyone who teaches any sort of vocabulary and has a SMART Board or projector hooked up in the classroom. Just enter a word or phrase into the search box, and Snappy Words generates a web of definitions and related words & phrases. Hover over any word or phrase included in the web to view its definition. The "connectors" and "bubbles" that make up the visual web are different colors, which represent different relationships, parts of speech, etc. (Some even include non-examples that oppose the definition!) Users can click and drag (or touch and drag on a SMART Board) to rearrange the words in the web, or double-click (double-tap) to start a new search on one of the words in the web. Using the scroll wheel on your mouse will zoom in and out on the web image.
This tool is very similar to Visual Thesaurus, which is an excellent and very powerful online dictionary and thesaurus mapping tool. Visual Thesaurus requires a paid subscription or purchase of a CD version, however. Snappy Words, which is free to use and requires no download or installation, is ad-supported. It does quite a bit less than Visual Thesaurus, but might be a nice tool for vocabulary study at any grade level. And by the way, did I mention that it's FREE?!!! And kids could use it at home as a visually interesting tool to help spruce up their writing... for FREE?!!!!
Thanks go out to www.FreeTech4Teachers.com for this and so many other links! Check them out!