Using the Dictionary

Second graders begin to use the dictionary to learn how to use guide words. Gulp. Sigh. And alphabetize to the second and third letter. This is such a hard skill, especially since first graders are only expected to alphabetize to the first letter. So since I have now taught a combination first/second class for two years, I have been able to expose my first graders to more challenging content and get them ready for next year by doing more alphabetical order.
Here's some of the dictionary skills my second graders have been working on in the last week. Let's be honest ... it's a struggle. I use Siri frequently, even in the classroom, to find a word meaning, even when helping my daughter do her homework. The last time I used a dictionary ... it's been a while! But we have to do it.
We started by looking up some fun January or winter themed words in the dictionary and just wrote down the page number where we found the word. No definition and no guide words to write down.
Then we sorted 24 word cards based on where the words would fall between the guide words. Here's the page of words that don't fit. There's 3 other cards in the set.
This was the final activity. There's a set of 16 task cards, all with the same question: "Which word would you find on a dictionary page between these guide words?" There's at least one word that is clearly not a logical choice and then the students have to narrow down the other words to look at and think through the alphabetizing to the second and third letter to get to the correct answer.

We have done some of this all year and I finally feel like my second graders are getting the hang of it! Here's a link to the activities that are in my store.

Until next time,


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