What it is: Shahi is a mashup of Wiktionary (a Wikipedia type dictionary) and Flickr. This visual dictionary is a great way for students to look up definitions and get a visual representation of the word. Students can choose for the images to come from Flickr, Google, or Yahoo. I find the most reliable image results come from Flickr.
How to integrate Shahi into the classroom: Shahi is a neat mashup of two tools. Having a visual dictionary is great for every student but especially useful for your visual learners. Beyond using Shahi as a dictionary, this is a perfect site for teaching your students the parts of speech. Because pictures acompany the definitions, students can “see” that a verb is an action word. Use Shahi as the base for a part of speech game with the whole class and a projector. Choose a word from reading, spelling, etc. and have students ‘guess’ the part of speech based on the pictures. This is a great way for students to learn the parts of speech through inquiry and problem solving. Shahi would also be a useful tool for ESL or ELL students. Bookmark Shahi on your classroom computers as a resource during reading/writing time. Look up a spelling word on Shahi and have students journal about one of the accompanying pictures. This site could be very useful for writing prompts. Shahi would also be wonderful in the science classroom, students can look up difficult words or concepts and immediately have a good visual representation to aid in understanding. In the geography classroom, students could search places and get a collection of images that will provide them with additional insight into the place. Cool!
Tips: I learned about this site from activeducator on Twitter. If you haven’t yet, sign up for Twitter today, it is a great way to network and learn about education (or anything you are interested in). Don’t forget to add me as a friend, ktenkely! A word of warning with this site: sometimes images will be inappropriate on this site because of the tags people put on their pictures in Flickr. For example “berry” brings pictures of fruit berries but also scantily dressed women named “Berry”. For elementary students, pre-search words you will be using with the class for appropriateness.
Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Shahi in your classroom.