Dictionary and Thesaurus Skills




·        To develop an understanding of how to use a dictionary to pronounce words

·        To practice locating words and their meanings in a dictionary

·        To become familiar with what a synonym is

·        To develop skills in using a thesaurus to find synonym




            ·        To correctly locate meanings of words in a dictionary

            ·        To correctly pronounce words using dictionary symbols

            ·        To correctly use the guide words to locate words in a dictionary

            ·        To identify the correct synonym to complete a sentence

            ·        To correctly match synonyms to their thesaurus entries



Knowing how to use a dictionary and a thesaurus can help you build a better vocabulary.  A dictionary contains a lot of useful information:  all the meanings of a word according to subjects, what part of speech the word is used as, how to pronounce a word, and the origin of the word.  A thesaurus can add variety to your vocabulary by giving you a different word for a word with the same meaning. 


Click on http://m-w.com/netdict.htm and type in the word “huge” where it says Merriam-Webster online and then click on go.  Find the meaning, the part of speech, the pronunciation, and the word origin.  Then click on the thesaurus button above this entry and find the synonyms for the word huge. 


New Instruction:

Practice dictionary skills by clicking on http://www.tv411.org/vocabulary and then click on “Dictionary Entries.”  Go through the slide show and complete all three activities. 


Next go to http://elearn.mtsac.edu/amla/readingroom/diction.htm , take the quiz, and check your answers.


Practice thesaurus skills by clicking on http://www.tv411.org/vocabulary , and then click on “Finding New Ways to Say Something.”  Go through the slide show and complete all three activities.

Feedback and Review:

Being able to use a dictionary will not only help you learn meanings of words but will also help you with spelling and pronunciation.  The thesaurus will help you in your communication by being able to use different words rather than the same ones over and over.  For review of using these two resources, take five unfamiliar words from something you’ve read and look them up in both the dictionary and thesaurus either online at http://www.m-w.com/netdict.htm or in a book format.  If you have any trouble finding them in either the dictionary or thesaurus, repeat the new instruction part of this program.

Transfer of Knowledge or Skills:

Next time you read, circle the words you don’t know how to pronounce or don’t know what they mean and look them up either online or in a print dictionary.  Underline the words you’d like to know synonyms for and look them in a thesaurus.  Make these new words a part of your vocabulary by practicing them and keeping them in a notebook.

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