Is it even worth learning how to use a dictionary or a thesaurus nowadays? I am sure many feel like this is obsolete. Yet, for those who find these skills necessary, grab these free dictionary and thesaurus printables for kids to learn. Don’t miss our Free Dictionary and Thesaurus Skills Activity Pack available as an instant download at the bottom of this post.
Even before our oldest could read, he would constantly ask what words meant. I would, of course, indulge him – at least for a while. Once he was able to read, I continued to encourage him to learn new words, but instead of me defining them, I made him look them up…in a dictionary.
Why even use a dictionary or why use a thesaurus?
This year we have started using the Daily Skill Building: Vocabulary, available at our homeschool resource store, and we are loving it! I love having my kids use a “real” dictionary to find the meaning of words and then a thesaurus to find the synonyms and antonyms.
The truth is that a dictionary and thesaurus give writers of all ages the assistance they need to improve their writing. Each provides different features to enhance writing.
A dictionary is an essential tool used for denotations and precise meanings of words. Many times I have used a word and questioned whether it belonged or not. Sometimes, I indeed used a word that didn’t quite fit what I was trying to say and a dictionary has helped me figure that out.
A thesaurus, when used the way it was intended, helps us to decipher the slightly varying connotations, feelings, or literal meanings behind words. A thesaurus can also provide the exact opposite of a word or its antonym.
Are dictionaries and thesaurus now obsolete?
Well, the hard copy may soon become obsolete but their purposes are not. Whether your students are using a Collins English Dictionary on paperback or they are using a Merriam Webster’s Dictionary online, each does the same and is equally necessary.
Here is a very simple example of why. I live in a second-world country. I don’t have unlimited internet like many of you may have. Every second we spend online is money we spend on internet data.
It is extremely useful for my kids to own a hardcopy dictionary and thesaurus. With them, students are able to look up words and enhance their language. However, not only am I teaching them how to use their dictionary and thesaurus skills but they are also learning something else that is equally important.
Using hardcopies show my students to research for words. Not everything comes easy like a computer click of a button is. Being able to research on a computer is easy. However, putting effort into searching for meaning is a valuable skill that I feel many times goes unnoticed.
The wealth of information provided by a dictionary or thesaurus is quite undeniable. Both are helpful reference tools for all writers.
Easy Vocabulary Curriculum
We created an easy-to-use vocabulary curriculum that can be used by students independently. Starting in grade 1 through grade 7, your students will build amazing vocabulary skills using just one page a day! There is no teacher’s guide necessary and this full year vocabulary curriculum is only $19.99
Free Dictionary and Thesaurus Printables for Kids
In this digital age, it is so easy to just grab the computer and do a quick search. But, there may come a time when a computer isn’t readily available and our kids need to know how to use a dictionary. Try these free printables to help your kids do some practice searching alongside your lessons.
Dictionary Skills Printables
Dictionary Detectives Worksheets – These free dictionary detective skills worksheets for your students will make them detectives in no time. Whether your detectives are in 1st grade straight through 5th grade and 6th grade language skills journeys, there is something for them in this resource.
Dictionary Worksheets with Answer Key – These 3 worksheet printables will help your students use the dictionary effectively. Getting kids comfortable with using the dictionary will help them discover words for building vocabulary.
Free Dictionary Skill Sheet for Vocabulary Words – This free dictionary skills sheet will help kids use dictionaries as needed to check spelling and vocabulary. The skills sheet is made for students to use independently.
Free Dictionary Skills Printable Pack – Our dictionary skills pack is the perfect way for students to make up new words. Students can also discover facts about the dictionary, and a sheet to look up vocabulary words.
Using the Dictionary with Dictionary Skills – Your students can use any student dictionary to write the word, guide words, synonyms, antonyms, and then write their own sentence with various words.
Dictionary Dig Activity – The focus of this dictionary dig activity is to use dictionary entries for locating words and definitions. Students will choose 10 words from a spelling list, use guide words, tackle a brain booster activity, and more.
Printable Noah Webster Study – Find out all about one of the most famous people known for being a word wonder, Noah Webster. Learn how Noah streamlined spelling and more with this free printable study.
Dictionary ABC Skills Practice – Young learners can build the foundation of dictionary skills by practicing ABC order with super silly example sentences. These free worksheets task your child to arrange words in the word bank in abc order.
Using a Dictionary with Root Words Printable – Your students can learn how to decode, find information, and find the roots of the given words. This printable is a great way for your kids to decipher the precise meaning of key words.
Free Graphic Organizer Personal Student Dictionary – This is a simple 1-page graphic organizer to use for each vocabulary word in your student’s personal dictionary. Your kids can even create their own decorative cover pages.
Winter Picture Dictionary Printable – Check out this fun way to help your preschoolers work on building vocabulary skills with a picture dictionary. In addition to this, your young students can work on their scissor skills and handwriting skills.
Dictionary Activity Printables
Elementary Dictionary Activities – The Elementary Librarian is absolutely stacked with dictionary activities for your elementary students. Your kids will enjoy activities like dictionary team challenges, cut and paste activities, online games, and more.
Dice Reading and Language Arts Game – This resource includes a set of different dice games. The six-page roll-a-word inspired activity includes a Dictionary Roll-A-Word game.
Root Word Activity – Finding root words are an important way for kids to build on new words and look for words in a physical dictionary. These free printable activities include root word flower activities and word root organizers.
Invent a Word Printable – This super fun activity will make any lesson on the dictionary engaging. Students will invent their own words and make a dictionary entry about the new word.
Thesaurus Skills Free Resources
Free Wow Words Mini Thesaurus – Ever heard of “Wow” words? They are words to describe sayings like funnier than funny and happier than happy. Kids will enjoy completing this 16 mini booklet printable pack.
My Marvelous Pocket Thesaurus – Your students can use this printable thesaurus to find words instead of other more common words. Each of your students can have their very own thesaurus.
Learn to Avoid Thesaurus Abuse – Did you ever think you could abuse the thesaurus? This activity helps students learn what happens when they overuse the thesaurus in their writing. Although a thesaurus is incredibly useful it can be overused, so this can help kids lookout for that in their essays and writing exercises.
Recycle Boring Words Writing Thesaurus – We all use boring words sometimes, for the lack of a better word. This booklet is a great tool for your students to keep track of their very best word choice with any given word. Better words mean an increased word bank.
The Right Fit Thesaurus Practice – Since we know that a thesaurus can sometimes be overused, this resource for extra practice can help. These additional materials for your lesson plans will guide your students in choosing an appropriate synonym or related words that best fit with the context of a sentence.
Using a Thesaurus – If your students are new to using a thesaurus this is a great beginner introduction to put their new skills into practice. The worksheet can guide your students through the process whether they are using a Thesaurus book or an online source like Thesaurus.com.
Printable Thesaurus Worksheets
Thesaurus Skills Worksheets – Grab these thesaurus searches for various words provided. This resource provides 10 words for your students to look up and 10 synonyms for them to match to the correct words.
Simple Thesaurus Worksheet – Kids will use this dictionary skills activity to find an alternate word with a thesaurus. This is a super simple sheet of paper to practice dictionary skills.
Printable Using a Thesaurus Worksheet – Students can explore this synonyms and antonyms worksheet to learn all about using a thesaurus. This part of speech language arts activity is a great tool to get kids away from using slang words and towards using new vocabulary.
Thesaurus & Dictionary Practice Worksheets – On the top of the page you will find this super simple resource to help your students practice using their dictionary and thesaurus. Once your students have been taught these skills, this 1-page worksheet makes a great independent work option for the end of the day or for review.
Thesaurus Games and Thesaurus Activities
Word Challenge and Thesaurus Practice – OK, enough of the thesaurus worksheets. Check out this fun printable worksheet and distance learning Google sheet activity. Add this thesaurus activity to your parts of speech lesson plan to explore synonyms, antonyms, and homonyms.
Thesaurus Activity Fun – Make your extra practice for using a thesaurus super fun with this activity. Students will need to identify the part of speech of each word, learn to write a new word, and then use the word choice in their own sentences.
Thesaurus MadLibs Winter Version – If your homeschool family enjoys MadLibs, then they will enjoy this synonym similar meanings of words spin on the classic MadLibs activity. After you spend your lessons trying to look up a precise word, this activity will put the perfect amount of silly in your homeschool day.
Thesaurus Monster Activity – This Monster Thesaurus activity worksheet by Mrs. Millis is a fun way for kids to practice using a thesaurus. Whether your students use a thesaurus in text or online, this activity can help them build their vocabulary and research skills.
A Thesaurus is not a Dinosaur – You have to admit that the word thesaurus reminds of a dinosaur in its spelling. Well, this activity especially introduces a thesaurus to your students and guides them to what a thesaurus actually is and does.
Free Dictionary and Thesaurus Skills Pack
Instant Download from WriteBonnieRose: This fun printable teaches kids how to use a dictionary and a thesaurus (both physical and online versions) and includes multiple practice activities to help them develop their skills. Download this Dictionary and Thesaurus printable pack.
Annette has been married to her husband and best friend since 2003. Together they are raising their six children to follow the Lord’s will, no matter what. Annette longs for the day when she will meet her angel babies who have entered heaven before her. She enjoys creating UNIT STUDIES and FREE PRINTABLES for homeschool families. You can follow her crazy life at In All You Do where she blogs about homeschooling, homemaking and marriage while trying to maintain her sanity. She is also the owner of Thrifty Homeschoolers where she shares her tips on homeschooling without breaking the bank.