Dictionary Day honours Noah Webster, who wrote the first dictionary. Born on October 16th, 1758, Mr. Webster had a great love for the English language. He invented the dictionary in 1806 to help people to use a wider variety of words in their daily conversations. This is a day to have fun, explore the English language, and recognize the importance of growing your vocabulary!
Explain the notion of alphabetical order. Explain that one way to arrange items in lists is by using the first letter of the name of each person, place, or thing. Ask students to start in groups of five and line up by alphabetical order of their first names. Then, have them work in groups of ten to do the same. Increase the group number until the whole class has ordered themselves alphabetically. Switch it up by asking the groups to arrange themselves alphabetically by last name!
Engage students in “The Great Dictionary Challenge!” Although people often use some form of technology to find the right word or the right spelling, it might be fun to get out the hard-copy dictionaries!
Create a list of 5 words that will be new to your class and have a timed challenge for groups to look up the meanings . Ask them to use their new word in a sentence and to try and use it again in the next few days.
Have a good old-fashioned spelling bee! Prepare a list of interesting or challenging words. Explain how a spelling bee works, and divide students into groups so they can play as a team. In turn, each team gets to try spelling the word read out. After each incorrect attempt, ask the other groups to try. Once the correct spelling is revealed, provide each group with a dictionary and have them race to find the definition and use the word in a sentence!