What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Thesaurus Rex is an app that provides kids with a way to find the most relevant synonyms and rhymes to help improve their writing. It has a pretty academic vibe, lacking flashy graphics and sound effects, but the app's simple design gives kids what they're looking for quickly and painlessly. Kids hoping to jazz up their writing will make repeat visits as they try to replace tired words with more engaging synonyms, whereas others may need more coaxing to see the app's benefits.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- conveying messages effectively
Engagement, Approach, Support
No flashy graphics or sound effects here; it's focused solely on helping kids find the perfect words for their writing.
Search results sort words by relevance, word length, and complexity. Words come accompanied by their definitions and audio pronunciations.
A YouTube tutorial highlights the app's features. Upgrades allow kids to search by syllable count and rhyming words, as well as see examples and tips.
What's it about?
Just as with a regular thesaurus, kids look up a particular word with THESAURUS REX and receive a list of synonyms. Unlike with a regular thesaurus, however, the synonyms come organized by relevance. If seeing words sorted by relevance isn't enough, kids also can narrow their search results by word length and complexity. As kids skim the lists of words, they can see a short definition for each and hear an audio pronunciation. In-app purchases unlock additional features, allowing kids to use the app to find rhyming words and sort words by syllable count or see examples of words used in sentences. When they find words they like, they can save them for quick reference later.
Is it any good?
No matter what kids are writing, Thesaurus Rex can help kids improve their vocabulary. The app encourages kids to think beyond simply adding a few big words to their writing and encourages them to choose words that fit the overall tone and meaning of a story, essay, or sentence. The short definitions that accompany the words help kids quickly determine whether the synonyms will fit, as do the examples available through the Examples & Tips upgrade. It also one-ups the old-school thesaurus by providing modern expressions and slang words. It's not all that exciting design-wise, which may help kids focus on the words themselves, but some kids may want a bit more oomph.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about words. Why say "tabby" when "cat" will do? When is it important to find the perfect word?
Have kids focus on specific word choices when reading a favorite book aloud.