5 Online Vocabulary Builders for Elementary Students

5 Online Vocabulary Builders for Elementary Students
Elementary students using computers in classroom
The SHARE Team May 24, 2013

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Whether you’re looking to expand your elementary students’ vocabulary or working with kids learning English as a second language, online vocabulary builders are great additions to your teaching toolbox. These sites can help you add hundreds of words to the vocabulary of young children without using rote memorization.

We went through and compiled 5 online vocabulary websites you can use to find digital flashcards that include photos, pronunciations, spelling quizzes, and more.

InsideStory Flashcards

Completely free, InsideStory Flashcards offers digital flashcards with words, high-quality photographs, an example sentence, and a brief description. These flashcards are divided into basic, easy, medium, and hard, and teachers can pick the words they want their students to learn. The flashcards can be printed or viewed online, allowing you to choose the best option for your classroom.  

The high quality of the images on this site appeals to small children who enjoy visual learning. You’ll  want to preview the images before using them in your class to determine if they are age appropriate for your students. There’s one potential drawback for this site—it’s not searchable, so finding specific words is difficult.

ESL Games World

Loaded with vocabulary learning games for English as a second language learners, ESL Games World includes listening memory games, board-style games, games-show style games, and more. All of the games are free. Choose games that target areas where your students are struggling—it’s a fun, interactive way to help them out.


Visuwords is an online graphical dictionary that provides definitions and pronunciation like a traditional dictionary, but also generates a visual representation of the word. This comprehensive database has nouns, adjectives, adverbs, and verbs, and you can search for the exact word you need. An additional bonus: students can use Visuwords as a thesaurus when they want to expand their vocabulary.


A favorite among elementary students, SpellingCity.com gives students a fun, engaging way to work on their spelling lists and boost their vocabulary. The site has over two dozen free activities you can direct your students to, including crossword puzzles, unscramble games, and HangMouse (the site’s version of hangman). An upgraded membership option helps teachers who want even more activities for their students.


Vocabulary.com isn’t a flashy website full of images, but it does allow you to create quizzes to help your students study. Quizzes give four potential meanings for a vocabulary word, and students select the one they think fits. It’s ideal for elementary students because it provides a hint for students if they don’t know what the word is.

Memorizing vocabulary words and definitions can be difficult even for the brightest students. With these online vocabulary builders for elementary students, you can ensure that your students learn the words they need to know.

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