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Sunday, October 11, 2020


October 16th is Dictionary Day because it's Noah Webster's birthday. However, any day would be a great day to let your kids make their own "personal dictionaries." OWNING their own dictionary would be a meaningful way to reinforce vocabulary, sight words, and spelling words.


Materials: pocket folder, prepared pages with alphabet letters, markers

*Here’s a link where you can download the pages with letters:

Directions: Ask students to tell you what they know about dictionaries. Brainstorm the many uses of dictionaries. Model looking up words and reading definitions. Explain that each of them will get to create their own dictionary that they can use to help them the rest of the school year. First, let the children decorate the outside of their pocket folder. Insert the alphabet pages. As you add new words to the word wall or have new spelling words, ask the children to write them in their dictionary. Encourage students to use their dictionaries when they write independently.

Hint! You might want to go ahead and type your core sight words on the pages before running them off.

Here are some other activities you can play with their dictionaries.

*Play "mystery word” where you give clues about words. 
 Can you find a word that starts with /m/ and ends with /d/? 
 Can you find a word that is the opposite of “fast”?

*Play the “rhyme” game. 
 Can you find a word that rhymes with “bike”? 
 Can you find a word that rhymes with “log” and is a pet?

*How many one letter words can you find? How many two letter words? Three letter words? 

*Ask children to clap out the syllables in words. 

*Can they match up words in their dictionaries with words in the classroom? 

*Sort words that refer to people, things we do, describing words, etc. 

*Have children find a word that starts with each letter in their name. 

*Have children make up sentences (oral or written) with the words. 

*Ask children to illustrate words or find magazine pictures that match the words.

*Demonstrate how to use the dictionary on the internet. How is it like their dictionary? How is it different?

Add a separate page each month with seasonal and holiday words children might want to use in their stories and journals.