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Academic Integrity - Ryerson University

Grades
9 to 12
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This is an incredibly rich site for teaching and learning about resources, plagiarism, and writing a research paper. Although geared for Ryerson University students, all students can...more
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This is an incredibly rich site for teaching and learning about resources, plagiarism, and writing a research paper. Although geared for Ryerson University students, all students can access the animated "story" told in episodes and many of the resources discussed in the story. Particularly helpful for students are such resources as the Assignment Calculator, which helps plan when to do what, and reference sources to access online. The key draw to this site, however, are the stories which cover unintentional plagiarism, buying or borrowing coursework, cheating on tests and exams, forging/misrepresentation & unauthorized group work, and group work. All of the episodes use the same characters and teachers can download the scripts to preview or use at their discretion as supplemental. Note: the interactive quizzes offered at the end of the series are not accessible to non-Ryerson students. This website requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): cheating (3), plagiarism (35)

In the Classroom

Downloading the scripts would offer an opportunity for groups of students to act out the episodes, always a popular idea. Having 5 groups of students watch different episodes and then report on them is another way to use the site. You can also have students watch certain episodes as assignments or enrichment. Be sure to check out the additional resources shown at the end of each episode. Social studies teachers assigning research projects may want to make these tutorials available for reference at research time.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Lingro - lingro.com

Grades
2 to 12
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This study tool and open content dictionary allows you to enter a web address (URL) and make all of the words on that page clickable for definitions and translation. A ...more
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This study tool and open content dictionary allows you to enter a web address (URL) and make all of the words on that page clickable for definitions and translation. A clicked word immediately displays its definition from the Lingro dictionary pages. The website looks visually the same within the Lingro window, but all words become clickable. You can also use Lingro to translate to and from English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Polish with more languages to be added. When students use the translation/definition tool, the site keeps a short-term record of their words and web pages, allowing them to study their own wordlists and to play games with these words. The wordlist and history feature only works short-term and at the SAME computer, unless you register, for free, to be able to take your personal history to any computer. With the translation capability, you can read websites in other languages. If you spell a word incorrectly, Lingro has a "best match" feature which finds likely definitions for your word of choice. There is also a tool to create electronic flash card type games from your saved wordlists.

Important technical note: Lingro cannot "see" words included in Flash interactives such as the "What's New" rotating content on the TeachersFirst home page. If you RIGHT click on an area of text and see "About Adobe Flash Player...," this means that the text is displayed in Flash and not "legible" to Lingro. Often pages offer a non-Flash version as an alternative.

tag(s): french (88), german (64), germany (28), italian (33), spanish (108), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

When your ESL/ELL, learning support, or weaker readers do Internet research on sites above their independent reading level, have them open Lingro first and then enter the URL (web address) they wish to read. Use Lingro for vocabulary development in any subject. Mark this site as a favorite on your classroom computer or on your teacher web page so that ESL/ELL, world language students, or weaker readers can use the definition and translation feature and benefit from instantly-created word lists. If your school permits individual student accounts on web tools, this is a good one. If not, create a single teacher account to compile class word lists.

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Researching A Story - CBBC

Grades
4 to 9
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This website offers excellent tips about researching a news story. The contents include an interactive quiz, educational game, and a tutorial. Learn about the important job of a journalist...more
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This website offers excellent tips about researching a news story. The contents include an interactive quiz, educational game, and a tutorial. Learn about the important job of a journalist - getting the facts straight, and writing a trust-worthy story. The interactive challenges provide "fill in the blank" questions and specific (BBC) links to use for the research. NOTE: If you seek to join the site (for free), you must be 15 years old or younger. You do not need to join to do the interactive quiz, play the game, etc. This is a safety measure to protect children from online predators. Many of the activities require FLASH. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): careers (132), journalism (46)

In the Classroom

What an intriguing website to include in a journalism or English class. Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to share these activities with your students. Use this website as an anticipatory set for a "real world" research assignment. Write a weekly research question on your class blog and have students respond using the techniques learned through this activity.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Word Reference - wordreference.com

Grades
2 to 12
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This series of free translating dictionaries allows students to search to/from English in these languages: French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, and German. Once a definition comes up...more
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This series of free translating dictionaries allows students to search to/from English in these languages: French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, and German. Once a definition comes up in English, there are links to other dictionary pages where the word appears in a sentence. You can click on the audio button to hear the word spoken in both languages. This feature is only available in more commonly used words

There are also immediate clicks to other languages, so a student could check the same word in Spanish and French very easily. In addition to the translation dictionaries, there are also "English Dictionaries" (non-interactive) available in Portuguese, Polish, Romanian, Czech, Turkish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Arabic (coming soon). Many of the foreign language dictionaries will increase in volume as the site developers add more vocabulary.

Be aware: this site does include minor advertisements. There is a link to Language Forums. It is probably best to advise students to stay away from the forums.

tag(s): chinese (48), dictionaries (56), italian (33), japan (61), japanese (42), korea (15), portuguese (18), russia (38), russian (26)

In the Classroom

Save this site in your favorites on your classroom computers for use by ESL/ELL and foreign language students or for use when studying derivations and word families in English (compare the same word across several languages to see how close they can be!). Students can take an active role in vocabulary preview work by using this site in prior to reading. Be sure to list this site on your class webpage so students can access this information both in and out of the classroom.

If you are introducing new vocabulary words to your foreign language class. Have them use this site to find the appropriate translations. Then have the students work in cooperative learning groups to create online vocabulary guide books using a tool such at Bookemon (reviewed here). Have the groups share the online books on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to keep the links for future students to use the guides, as well.

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Hunt the Fact Monster - Education World

Grades
2 to 8
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Weekly printable Hunt the Fact Monster activity sheets encourage students to build research skills and internet literacy as they use the Fact Monster search engine to find the answers...more
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Weekly printable Hunt the Fact Monster activity sheets encourage students to build research skills and internet literacy as they use the Fact Monster search engine to find the answers to the questions in the activity. There are separate sections for grades 2-3 and grades 4-8. This site requires Adobe Acrobat Reader. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): search strategies (30)

In the Classroom

This site can be used for individual students, in a technology class, or as a parent-and-student together assignment. Be sure to see the Ideas for Using Hunt the Fact Monster in Your Classroom page for tips on using the hunts in your classroom. Before you launch your research project with younger students, use this exercise to solidify research basics or as a pretest to be sure everyone is ready. Challenge your more able students to create their own Fact Monster hunts on individual research topics and share them with classmates. Reading teachers can also use these activities to help students practice skimming and scanning.

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Hoax or Not? - Chris Clementi

Grades
5 to 8
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This web quest offers guided practice for students to research on the Internet and evaluate sites. Students review given sites and research facts to determine if the information is...more
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This web quest offers guided practice for students to research on the Internet and evaluate sites. Students review given sites and research facts to determine if the information is fact or fiction. For a final project, students create a creature and use creative writing skills to write a hoax about the creature. A KWL chart, web site rating, final project rubric, and a tutorial for the final project are included. This site requires Adobe Reader for some pages. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): creative writing (166)

In the Classroom

This activity would work well for individual or pairs of students in a lab or on laptops. Before you assign a research project on your middle school team, take the time to work through this webquest. Every student on the team will benefit when it comes time to do research in ANY subject. Perhaps you can "divvy up" the webquest tasks and time across multiple subjects so no one class needs spend too long on this foundation experience.

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Ask for Kids - IAC Search & Media

Grades
K to 6
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This easy, kid-friendly search site focuses on learning, combined with a little "edu-tainment." Students ask pertinent questions by using their natural language, and the search begins....more
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This easy, kid-friendly search site focuses on learning, combined with a little "edu-tainment." Students ask pertinent questions by using their natural language, and the search begins. The searches filter the web and provide age-appropriate content. (Note: This site was formerly known as Ask Jeeves.) Notice the two links under the search window for 'News Resources' and 'Fun and Games.' These links open into safe, off-site areas for more information-gathering and fun.

On the home page of Ask for Kids, notice the stacked books on the right. Click the subject 'book' in which your search is needed. The easy drop-down menus will aid in zeroing the search.

tag(s): search engines (65)

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to teach students how to do research using this online search site. Many students need modeling on how to fine-tune their searches. For those with reading levels or maturity levels not yet ready for full-fledged "Googling," this site is a winner. It would also be an excellent comparison to Google for upper elementary students as they learn more about evaluating web sites.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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A+ Research & Writing Step-by-Step - Kathryn L. Schwartz

Grades
9 to 12
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Do you want to appeal to those students who are afraid of the whole research and writing process? How about those who just don't know how to pick a topic, ...more
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Do you want to appeal to those students who are afraid of the whole research and writing process? How about those who just don't know how to pick a topic, or narrow the focus? Are you dreading walking your students through the citation part? This site enables students to go through the process of writing a research paper from choosing a topic through writing the paper, revising, proofreading, and final submission. What makes this site appealing is the use of great graphics and the very simple, one-step-at-a-time approach that makes paper writing less daunting. Links take students to college-specific sites for interactive organizational tools such as mapping and outlining.

In the Classroom

This site helps you help your students and them students to work at their own pace through the pieces that are difficult for them. Use the entire site as a guide for you research process or select different pieces of this site as models when you teach research papers so students can practice right then and there "how to do it." Be sure to include the link on your teacher web page so parents can support students as they approach deadline-panic (and you know some will procrastinate, no matter what you do).

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Information Finder - BBC

Grades
1 to 3
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This unusual website is interactive and provides students with the unique challenge of determining which types of reference books should be used to find specified information. Some...more
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This unusual website is interactive and provides students with the unique challenge of determining which types of reference books should be used to find specified information. Some of the reference books include an atlas, a book about flags, a book about wildlife, and a few specialized weather books. The website provides a Teachers/Parents link that provides general standards for this interactive game. The entire activity requires Flash, get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): animals (276), atlas (6), matching (24), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard and let students take turns to help your students understand the various forms of informational texts. Or set up this site as a center in the library/media center to remind students where to look for information.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Bibme - team exibeans

Grades
6 to 12
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BibMe is a one-stop source for all kinds of bibliography needs. It is a great online tool for bibliographies--and more. It even has a function for those students who ...more
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BibMe is a one-stop source for all kinds of bibliography needs. It is a great online tool for bibliographies--and more. It even has a function for those students who don't remember all the information for the source you cited. BibMe allows you to search from a database of millions of entries to find your source and autofill in the information. If you have the source in front of you, you can enter your entries manually. BibMe also offers resources to help you cite your work properly in the 'Citation Guide' section. It offers examples in MLA, APA, and Chicago formatting, making it useful for a wide variety of schools. Set up a free account for yourself so you can "save" bibliographies.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): citations (34)

In the Classroom

This is a great tool for students who are both learning to cite correctly and as a helpful tool for those who forget some of the "little" things that count when writing a bibliography. It offers a great example, too, of the difference between what is in a "Works Cited" page and what actually appears in the text as a citation. Teachers can use this on a Smartboard or simply through a computer lab or projector to demonstrate the correct way to cite as well as mistakes to avoid. Be sure to include the link on your teacher web page for students finishing reports in the wee hours of the morning on the due date. Set up a free account for yourself so you can "save" example bibliographies. If you assign independent projects to your gifted students (or any student), be sure to make Bibme part of your instructions so they learn to organize their sources early on. If students are allowed to set up individual accounts, this tool is worth the time! They must be 13 or have parent permission.

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Visuwords - Paul R. Dunn

Grades
6 to 12
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This graphical online dictionary will make looking up words and figures of speech addictive, and visual learners will start to understand meanings as never before. The dictionary pulls...more
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This graphical online dictionary will make looking up words and figures of speech addictive, and visual learners will start to understand meanings as never before. The dictionary pulls it information from Princeton's WordNet, an opensource database built by University students and language researchers. A WORD OF WARNING: because the source of the words is a university, where speech is completely open, there are word included in this "dictionary" that are NOT classroom appropriate. Use it only under teacher monitoring.
The color-coded word "entries" display like a mind-map or graphic organizer, showing parts of speech in different colors and showing related words and phrases, as well. Be sure to look at the color key at the bottom to understand all the information presented. This site requires FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): dictionaries (56), thesaurus (24), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Introduce new vocabulary before reading or starting a new unit, using this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. The distinctions, examples, and relationships the site features for new words will help students build better connections and understanding as they read and study the words in classroom context. English teachers will love this as a learning tool for teaching distinctions between similar words. Just remember to use it in a monitored situation (see above).

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Research 101 - University of Washington

Grades
9 to 12
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Research 101 is an interactive online tutorial for students needing an introduction to research skills. The tutorial covers the basics, including how to select a topic and develop research...more
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Research 101 is an interactive online tutorial for students needing an introduction to research skills. The tutorial covers the basics, including how to select a topic and develop research questions, as well as how to select, search for, find, and evaluate information sources. This site teaches kids HOW to research so it works with ANY subject matter.Teaching kids how to research and the differences between kinds of sources can be challenging. This site makes it a little easier for you and simpler and more fun for them!

In the Classroom

What is terrific about this site is its interactive capability-- so you can introduce it on a projector or whiteboard at the beginning of class, then let them continue by themselves as you go around and check on individual issues. After each section there is a "review quiz" that students can take right there and get their score immediately. Require them to raise a hand to report a score--or they risk a zero!

This site is a must for your teacher web page during research season.

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Internet Detective: Wise up to the Web - Emma Place, et.al. Intute Virtual Training Suite

Grades
8 to 12
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We can't stop kids from using internet sources for research, but we CAN teach them how to distinguish the good sites from the bad. Here is a site that shows ...more
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We can't stop kids from using internet sources for research, but we CAN teach them how to distinguish the good sites from the bad. Here is a site that shows them step-by-step how to determine the authenticity and reliability of any site. While it is geared to college students, it is easily adaptable and user-friendly for younger students with guidanca. The 5 sections include:
What's the Story? - understanding internet skills
The Good the Bad and the Ugly - see why information quality is an issue on the web, especially for academic research. Learn how to avoid time wasting on Internet searching, scams and hoaxes.
Detective Work - get hints and tips that help to critically evaluate the information you find on the Internet.
Get On the Case - try out your Internet Detective skills with these practical exercises.
Keep the Right Side of the Law - be warned about plagiarism, copyright and citation.

tag(s): critical thinking (108)

In the Classroom

You can break this site down into pieces and discuss on a projector with follow-up on laptops or lab computers as you work with students on using the Internet for research. There is quite a smorgasbord to be taught as a unit or broken down throughout the year as you approach different parts of the activities.

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H2O Playlists - Berkman Ctr for the Internet and Society, Harvard Law School

Grades
9 to 12
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Create an online collection of annotated links and materials for academic research or have your students use this site to collect sources and materials for a collaborative project....more
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Create an online collection of annotated links and materials for academic research or have your students use this site to collect sources and materials for a collaborative project. A "playlist" is a set of links with explanations and tags that you (or students) can use to initiate self-directed research or that students could use to prepare or present content. Have students make a "playlist" on a research topic, such as the Vietnam War, displaying and speaking about the resources in a class presentation on a projector. You can monitor the progress of collaborative research by checking their playlists-in-progress. Students who have Internet access at home can add to the playlists from any computer. Playlists can be published and shared. You can also find other playlists with the same tags, extending the reach of your research.

tag(s): citations (34)

In the Classroom

The site requires a log-in, so you may want to set up a single account and password based on your "extra" email account (always recommended for joining all these great web-based tool sites). When your students are finished with their projects, you can simply change the password. Skills needed to use this tool: join site (free), copy/paste links, create tags (keywords), reorder list items, start new lists (all very easy by clicking on text links). TeachersFirst Ede staff strongly suggest that you create a sample playlist to start and model the process to your students. They will catch on fast. You will also need to prevent them from altering profiles or creating unmonitored accounts and profiles, for safety reasons.

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QUICK: the Quality Information Checklist - HDA and CHIQ

Grades
3 to 6
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By teaching young students how to evaluate web pages early, this site helps create critical consumers of information. By clicking on items arranged in a circle on the screen, students...more
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By teaching young students how to evaluate web pages early, this site helps create critical consumers of information. By clicking on items arranged in a circle on the screen, students go on to further explanations, examples, and quizzes about the main points of web evaluation.

tag(s): evaluating sources (13)

In the Classroom

This site would be great on a projector as a teacher-centered lesson, returning to each point as you build the understanding throughout the year. Use one point at a time as you show students various websites throughout the school year. Simply open this site prior to sharing a site with the class. You can use the points here to "evaluate" the source together. Be sure to include it as a reference link on your teacher web page, as well. Parents will appreciate it and students can "show" their parents how to judge sources.

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Online Etymology Dictionary - Douglas Harper

Grades
6 to 12
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as the author explains, "Etymologies are not definitions; they're explanations of what our words meant 600 or 2,000 years ago." Use this quick online reference to locate the point in...more
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as the author explains, "Etymologies are not definitions; they're explanations of what our words meant 600 or 2,000 years ago." Use this quick online reference to locate the point in time when a word entered into usage the way we know it-- or to find out what it used to mean, such as in Shakespeare. Use the richness of these historical meanings to understand literature or to illustrate the living nature of language.

tag(s): vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Mark this one in the Favorites on classroom computers or in links on your English teacher web page. Feature a word a week on a projector before you start your lesson to help students think about the evolution of language.

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Englishbanana.com Picture Dictionary - Matt Purland

Grades
1 to 6
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This fairly extensive picture dictionary uses photographs, not drawings, to assist language learners to see the real thing! Besides defining the word the student selects to look up,...more
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This fairly extensive picture dictionary uses photographs, not drawings, to assist language learners to see the real thing! Besides defining the word the student selects to look up, other items in the photo are also labeled so that learning vocabulary can occur in chunks, thus making it more meaningful and comprehensive. Site users may add to an archive of quizzes on the dictionary's word list.

tag(s): speech (92), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

A great dictionary site to bookmark on your classroom computers for limited English speakers! This one would also be good for speech and language practice for special ed both at home and at school.

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Citation Machine - David Warlick and the Landmark Project

Grades
8 to 12
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This site enables students to correctly cite sources in a Works Cited page in both MLA and APA style. The student provides the information (such as title, authors publisher, etc.) ...more
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This site enables students to correctly cite sources in a Works Cited page in both MLA and APA style. The student provides the information (such as title, authors publisher, etc.) and the software will show what the entry ought to look like. This is a helpful tool when writing a paper or properly documenting sources fro a student-made PowerPoint show. The directions are in small type in the main column of information. The basic idea is to select the type of style (MLA, Chicago, etc) you want at the left, enter information, and generate the citation.

tag(s): citations (34)

In the Classroom

Be careful that all entries look as you instructed students to do them. the only caution with this site is that there are sponsored sites on the right-hand side that students can click on to buy term papers. Show them the site in class and warn them that you can see these sites, too, and they are better off not even trying. The citation site itself is too good not to use as a tool.

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One Look Reverse Dictionary - Doug Beeferman

Grades
5 to 10
0 Favorites 0  Comments
Designed with ESL students in mind, this dictionary allows students to type in phrases and questions. The dictionary comes up with lists of related words, definitions, and a link ...more
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Designed with ESL students in mind, this dictionary allows students to type in phrases and questions. The dictionary comes up with lists of related words, definitions, and a link to other dictionaries. Although the list of definitions is extensive, the tool reminds the user that the first words found are the most useful.

tag(s): synonyms (38)

In the Classroom

Customize search results to meet your classroom needs! Make this site available in your Favorites for ESL/ELL students to access as needed.

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Heinle's Newbury House Dictionary of American English - Heinle Newbury House Publishers

Grades
3 to 8
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Designed especially for the limited English speaker, this easy-to-use dictionary contains definitions in simple language ESL learners can understand, and each word is used in a sentence....more
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Designed especially for the limited English speaker, this easy-to-use dictionary contains definitions in simple language ESL learners can understand, and each word is used in a sentence. Other features include pronunciation, synonyms, part of speech, word of the day, and activities; browsing and advanced search options are also available.

In the Classroom

A great dictionary to bookmark for your ESL learners on your classroom computer for handy reference anytime.

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