An important component of effective writing is having a wide vocabulary so you can choose words that convey the required meaning and to add interest so the text engages readers and sustains their attention.
One fun activity to increase students’ vocabulary is to develop word webs. This involves choosing a focus word which is placed at the centre of the web. Radiating out from the web can be different meanings of the word, the addition of prefixes and suffixes, synonyms and antonyms and idiomatic use of the word. Radiating out from these words can be other related words. Younger children in particular can also include pictures.
There are a variety of online resources which can be used to assist students in the development of word webs.
Visuword (visuwords.com) automatically creates a word web based around the inserted focus word. Once the word web has been created, you can click on the different circles and you are provide with a definition.
In the Visual Thesaurus program (www.visualthesaurus.com), once you have generated your word web, every time you click on an item it takes you to a new web based around that particular word.
The Word Associations program (wordassociations.net) provides a very comprehensive list of words and meanings related to the target word.