Using a Dictionary

We are continuing our walk through non fiction text features and shifting gears a bit to look at reference materials... focusing on the dictionary!

While a dictionary seems to be on the verge of becoming extinct due to online dictionaries and spell check, it's still in our state's standards...and on the test.

So, where to start with 2nd graders?

Yesterday, we worked on learning the different parts of a dictionary page.  Since there are few resources that break down for my kids, I had to make some.  So, using my SMART board, we talked about guide words, entry words, the definition, example sentences, and the part of speech.  I mentioned that most dictionaries have a pronunciation guide, but the dictionaries we use in class don't.

Here are the dictionaries we are using in class... I'm sure you have seen these :)


After looking and exploring samples in the dictionary, today we looked at identifying the parts and how to use them.  Working with their reading partners, they practiced highlighting and identifying the parts of a dictionary entry.


Today, they identified the guide words, entry words, definitions, example sentences, and part of speech.  Then, after they identified these parts, they took that example and looked to find specific information from their dictionary sample.  It was a little frustrating for them, and took a little longer than I expected, so instead of going on to talk about the guide words, we went back over the samples.  That seemed to help.  Tomorrow, we will work on guide words and focus on what they are and how to find a word in the dictionary quickly.

The packet that I used is one that I made specifically for my second graders and is available for purchase in my TpT store and Teachers Notebook store for only $2.00.


Tomorrow, we'll work on guide words!

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