Idea in the classroom #2 – Dictionary Skills Unit Plan

By admin -

Check out this dictionary skills unit from Donna in Calgary, Alberta!  You’re kids will be word ninjas after this unit!

Dictionary Skills Unit Plan

Best if completed with a class set of the same dictionaries!

  1. Alphabetical Order – Quick Review
  • Dolphin’s Delight
  • Alphabetical Challenge


  1. Dictionary Sections (A – H) (I – Q) (R – Z)
  • Dictionary Dividers (together on Smartboard)
  • Place Your Order (together on Smartboard)
  • Rodeo Roundup
  • Latoya’s List


  1. Guide Words
  • Photocopy a page of their dictionary on the Smartboard. Show them the guide words, have them point to them, say them, explain how they work and what they do!
  • List several page numbers and have them tell you the guide words.
  • Easy as Pie – do a couple with them together or on Smartboard
  • Snake Eyes
  • Egyptian Travel Guide
  • Fish Fact
  • Full of Beans


  1. Word Tense
  • Sheets on tense – Verb Tenses and Irregular Verbs
  • Parts of a Verb
  • What Time is it?
  • Discuss in full looking for the base word or present tense when using the dictionary. Show how at the end of the definition they show the other tenses. Take the words from the sheets and try finding them in the dictionary. Make up an extra sheet in needed.


  1. Prefix and Suffix
  • Quick review of what they are and where they are found
  • Word Building
  • After Words


  1. Wrap Up of topics 4 and 5 – Run-On Wrap Up


  1. Spelling and Parts of Speech Check Up
  • Cross Check
  • Sea Life
  • The Creepy Castle
  • Decoding Detective
  • A Helping Hand


  1. Syllables
  • Review syllables on the board, including how to break up words the way they do in the dictionary.
  • Pretty as a Picture
  • That’s Incredible
  • Decisions, Decisions
  • The End of the Line
  • Animal Crackers


  1. Multiple Definitions
  • Introduce on board with common words we know that have more than one meaning
  • Multiple Madness
  • As I Was Saying
  • Reading Between the Lines
  • Meaning Mastery


  1. Pronunciation (Phonetic Spelling)
  • Copy and discuss the page at the beginning of any dictionary that shows pronunciation. Smartboard while they look on in dictionary.
  • A Real Match
  • Connie’s Code
  • Make Your Mark
  • Homographs
  • Crossword Fun
  • Master of Disguise
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