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Leading adult education through support for and the effective application of technology.

The Visual Dictionary

Example Web Site and/or Technical Equipment Required


Website Example:

More Ways

Computer(s), Internet access, projector, speakers and/or headphones (optional)

Activity Description

Use this online picture dictionary when teaching thematic vocabulary to show labeled visuals, definitions, animations, and videos.


  1. Make sure that the Web site is not blocked at your school before using it with students.
  2. Preview the site to see if there are entries that suit your teaching objectives and lesson. Decide which vocabulary theme you want to introduce to your students. Practice with the site yourself so you feel comfortable with it.
  3. If there is a video or animation available, view it and decide if you want students to view it. If so, set the volume on the computer to an adequate level.


  1. Open the Example Web site (above).
  2. Demonstrate to students how use use the search/browse functions. There are multiple ways to search/browse the site:
  3. Select a category by selecting its image (Biology Vegetal (plants), Biology Animal, Human Body, Music, Transport, or Clothing) and then choosing the subcategory to see labeled images. Some results will also have encyclopedia-like text explanations, videos, realistic photos, and animations. If more than images are provided, the buttons for Photo, Animation, and Virtual Object will activate and can be selected for viewing. (Note: Animation and Virtual Object both lead to videos, mostly from YouTube).
  4. You can also search for specific vocabulary terms by selecting the Search Word button. Type a word in the text box and choose the Search button. Select the result you want to see from the list.
  5. Select the Lexicon button to view the entire contents of the site in an Alphabetical table presented by letter of the alphabet. To do a search on this page, press the Control key and the F key at the same time [Ctrl] + [F] and your browser will open a Find toolbar at the top right. Type in the word you are searching for in the textbox. The results will be highlighted on the page. Select Next in the toolbar to find the next use of the word and then select the word in the list to view. (Tip: You can use this Find feature on any Web page.)
  6. Choose the List of Topics button and choose the terms you want to view from the drop down list in a category.
  7. Select the Photo button to see only photos (the browser may open a new tab to a site named

Teacher Tips

  • The site contains many ads, and many of the YouTube and other videos (Animations and Virtual Objects) also have ads at the beginning. Teach your students what these look like, how to avoid selecting them, and how to "skip ad" on the YouTube variety..
  • The button for Wikipedia does NOT go to Wikipedia, so do not try to use it..
  • There is a Speech button, but it does not appear to work for any of the entries.
  • The site is also available in Spanish or French. Select the appropriate language link near the bottom of the main page to change languages.

More Ways

  • You can display images from the site on a class Web page. Select Image Share to get the display code. Copy the code and paste into your own Web page by using the HTML editor function. When you copy the entire code from the HTML box, it includes a link directly pulling this image from the Visual Dictionary page and the copyright information. If you read the paragraph at the top of the Image Share page, you will see that this information is necessary to comply with their copyright restrictions, so we encourage you to copy it all. No modification can be made on the images. The images cannot be used for commercial purposes or in commercial sites. The maximum number of images authorized to share on your Web site is 10.


  • Beginning Literacy
  • Beginning Low
  • Beginning High
  • Intermediate Low
  • Intermediate High
  • Advanced
  • All Levels


Basic Communication

  • (7.4) Demonstrate study skills
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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN200091-A2 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.