The Wordsmyth Children’s Dictionary is a thoughtfully-written dictionary and word-exploration tool designed for upper elementary and middle school students.
• Child-friendly definitions
Definitions are written for the dictionary in a clear and uncomplicated style for children (native speakers as well as ELLs) using a controlled vocabulary and simple sentence structure. In addition, thousands of easy-to-understand example sentences, photos, and illustrations enhance understanding of the meaning of words and make learning fun.
• Careful sense selection
A word can have many different meanings. Dictionaries refer to these different meanings of words as “senses.” Advanced dictionaries quite often list more than ten or twenty different senses for a single word. Very common words, especially, can have a vast number of senses, some of them only subtly different from each other in meaning and some very rare or sophisticated. The Wordsmyth Children’s Dictionary is unique among dictionaries for children in that it includes a relatively large number of senses for each word. At the same time, only the most common and important senses are chosen in order that the child will not be overwhelmed by information and can make sense of the meanings that are presented.
• 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.
• Synonyms, Antonyms, and Similars: Wordsmyth’s Integrated Thesaurus
Built into the dictionary is Wordmyth’s thesaurus, which includes synonyms, antonyms, and words that are somewhat similar in meaning to the headword. The thesaurus words are matched with individual senses of a word rather than with just the headword itself and 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.”
• Word Explorer
Unique to our Children’s Dictionary is the Word Explorer: a word-finding and knowledge-exploration feature that allows a child to find words relating to multiple topics and to explore whole networks of words and their meanings as a result. So, for example, under the keyword “art,” the child can find 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 relations, make many new words part of his or her vocabulary, and start to discover how words are key to an understanding of the world.
• 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.