Thursday, April 3, 2014

Digging Through the Dictionary & some FREEBIES!

You know when you just can't figure out a *NEW* way to teach the same ole thing??
After 13 years in first grade, it happens quite a bit.  I mean, it's the same content and although I have new kids, I get tired of teaching it the same way & I'm always on the lookout for new ideas.

And that's why blogs and Pinterest might JUST be the best thing ever invented! :)

So, I was trying....trying....trying to find a new way to practice dictionary skills with my kids.  Not the most exciting topic, for sure. 

Sure, the kids think dictionaries are cool, but I needed to spice up our lessons a little bit.  Then, I stumbled upon the CUTEST dictionary kites from Cara at The First Grade Parade.
When I saw these, I KNEW we had to make them & my firsties would LOVE it!
Plus, this is our last week before SPRING BREAK (woo hoo!), so this idea was perfect 
for our spring theme.

We started with our anchor chart... AND a discussion of why we need to learn how to use a REAL dictionary...and not just the one on our iPad or phones...

After our  mini lesson & some exploring through our dictionaries, the kids each got a word.
I differentiated the words based on the level of each student.  
I wanted them all to be different.

They  had to find the guide words (ugh, guide words!), the page number, and the definition.
Then, they recorded it on the different bows for the kite.

When they were finished with all that, they got to illustrate their word on the middle of their kite.

Within our study, we also made Dictionary Clouds to go with our kites.

They started with their name - a favorite dictionary activity from the past.
With each letter of the child's name, they had to find a word that begins with that letter, and define it.

Then, they recorded each letter & word on a cloud.
Of course, they had to write their guide words & page number, too!

Then, the covers were colored & I stapled them all together to make little cloud books..

Of course, everyone's book was a little different...
different words, and with everyone's names being different lengths, some books were bigger than others.

They turned out super cute & allowed the kids to really practice using their dictionaries.

The kids really loved doing both of these activities - they were busy, engaged, and learning, too!
Who knew using a dictionary could be so much fun??

NOTE: The kite idea is not mine. I found it on The First Grade Parade, and give sole credit to Cara Carroll.

I did make the kite templates because I needed something for my own classroom. If you'd like to grab it, click {here}.

The Dictionary Name Clouds can be downloaded {here}.

If you download either one, I'd love to hear you comments!! :)

So, that's it for me, friends! One more day 'til spring break, and I. AM. READY!

We are hosting a Relay for Life Movie Madness event at school tomorrow - the kids bring money and get to "skip class" to watch a movie with their friends.  And the best part?? Teachers get that time off to work in their rooms... a WHOLE TWO HOURS! What?!??!  

It's an amazing way to raise money AND since we don't have any more teacher workdays, it's an awesome way to get a little work time in!

I hope you've all had a fantabulous Thursday, and as always, thanks for stopping by ! :)


  1. Hi Kelly,
    I LOVE your post! I am definitely going to use several of these activities, and I love your anchor chart! I'll have to add that to my extensive list of anchor charts I need to start over the summer! I have been following you for a long time, and I recently opened my own TPT store and blog, and coincidentally, my first freebie uploaded was a DICTIONARY HUNT for Literacy Centers! I am creating lots of them, so I would love for you to check out my freebie and see if it works for your class now that they have AWESOME dictionary skills!
    :) Stephanie
    (a.k.a. First Grade Bangs)

  2. Thank you sooooo much!!! I will be using both of these!!!

  3. The kite is super cute! I can't wait to use it!

  4. Thank you for sharing!

  5. I love this activity. So cute, springy and fun!


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