Common Sense


Great Vocabulary Games, Apps, and Sites

Building vocabulary is necessary for fluid reading and writing. But a great vocabulary depends on students getting early, frequent, and sustained exposure to words that expand their horizons. These great vocabulary games, apps, and websites do just that, getting words in front of students in engaging ways, and giving students supports to understand definitions, uses, and meanings. Use these vocabulary tools -- alongside a regular reading habit -- to help students build word knowledge. They feature tech-enabled supports like text-to-speech, customizable flash cards, adaptive instruction, and clever gameplay. There are also resources for teachers to craft activities, lessons, and assessments to keep kids' vocabulary skills on track.

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Beck and Bo

Drag-and-drop adventure great for learning new words in context

Bottom line: Your wee one will enjoy animating Beck and Bo's world while developing creativity and logic.

Endless Wordplay: School Edition

Rhymes, phonetic approach, silly animations help kids construct words

Bottom line: Good, holistic approach to the nitty gritty of constructing words.

Montessorium: Intro to Words

Well-crafted app lets emerging readers and writers develop reading skills through word building

Bottom line: Basic reading skills are developed through word building, word play, and letter-sound recognition.


Gamified learning platform for typing, vocabulary, and spelling

Bottom line: Vocabulary, spelling, and typing platform goes beyond typical rote memorization and practice.


Delightful hip-hop-based site connects literacy to every content area

Bottom line: This site's content is savvy enough to keep students focused, and teachers will love the flexible options for deepening learning.


Differentiate reading instruction with high-quality texts and lessons

Bottom line: The quality and scope of texts, lesson plans, assessments, and supports on this platform can help facilitate online or offline targeted reading instruction in nearly any home or classroom.

Osmo Words

Versatile word game challenges across content areas and abilities

Bottom line: Fun game-like way to review spelling or content vocabulary.

Spaceteam ESL

Chaotic game offers silly yet novel way to practice English vocab

Bottom line: An irresistibly fun way for ELLs to practice high-frequency English vocabulary, but as an app it's a bit rough around the edges.


Games, articles, word play make for more than just a dictionary

Bottom line: This is a great reference site for students to casually play around with language, test their knowledge, or explore to discover something new.


Viral word puzzle sharpens language and thinking skills

Bottom line: This popular and simplistic word game has potential as a fun vocabulary builder.

World's Worst Pet - Vocabulary

Hip games help kids learn words they'll actually use

Bottom line: Learn the meaning of vocabulary words through fun games, and put it to good use as part of everyday conversation.


Deep, data-driven vocabulary tool challenges learners

Bottom line: Membean has the potential to push students and grow their vocabulary while providing teachers with data they'll love.

Scribblenauts Remix

Vocab-building word puzzles inspire creative problem-solving

Bottom line: Wide-open problem solving builds creativity, vocabulary, and spelling skills, but controls can be tricky.


Tetris + Boggle + wordsplosions = ultimate language fun

Bottom line: Puzzlejuice offers kids a fun challenge that incorporates logic and language.


Level up with gamified vocabulary study for middle and high school

Bottom line: While it's got room to grow, this is a tool worth considering for practicing vocabulary based on Greek and Latin roots.

Wordflex Touch Dictionary

Amazing interactive visual dictionary makes exploring words exciting

Bottom line: Dynamic, highly visual presentation makes learning new words exciting.


Beautiful, challenging vocab app is quite fun but riddled with ads

Bottom line: There's no doubt it's fun and features some nice vocab and spelling practice, but spring for the paid version and make sure students play thoughtfully.

Smart, stylish site helps students commit new words to memory

Bottom line: It's a great, goal-oriented learning resource with the potential to turn vocab lessons into a fun challenge.

SAT Vocab by MindSnacks

Variety is key in charmingly effective SAT vocab app

Bottom line: Upgrading to the full version gets you great games and a thorough word list for SAT vocab prep.

Visual Thesaurus

Watch words branch out into intriguing, layered language maps

Bottom line: With such a great visual take on the depth of language, more ways to personalize the experience would make it even better.

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