By: Courtney Newman
These days, Google is the first resource for many of us, especially when it comes to searching for word definitions. Consequently, flipping through the pages of a dictionary is becoming somewhat of an antiquated process. Several of us remember hearing the phrase “look it up,” from our parents and teachers when we didn’t understand certain words, however, those days have changed. Do your children know how to find words in a dictionary? While it’s not a necessary skill, it is helpful to know. Dictionaries offer plenty of resources to explore, especially children’s dictionaries, which often have illustrated pages and interesting facts.
Beyond dictionaries, do your children use the thesaurus? A thesaurus is an incredibly helpful tool for writers or any student working on a language arts project. It is fun to learn new words with similar meanings, which also helps to expand your children’s vocabulary. In honor of National Thesaurus Day, we are sharing several vocabulary activities and resources today!
National Thesaurus Day Resources
When our homeschoolers learn to write, a limited vocabulary can become an obstacle for an otherwise well-written paper. A thesaurus can help your students expand their vocabulary as well as enhance their assignments. Specifically, if a student is working on a longer project, a limited vocabulary can quickly become redundant. A new vocabulary offers many benefits, including improved spoken communication skills and creative writing abilities.
National Thesaurus Day is celebrated annually on January 18th in honor of the author of the first modern thesaurus, Peter Mark Roget. His book, titled Roget’s Thesaurus, was originally compiled in 1805 and first published in 1852. It became something of an instant classic and has never been out of print! Peter Roget was born on January 18, 1779, and consequently, National Thesaurus Day celebrates his birth. Roget spent much of his life with a successful career in medicine, but after he retired, he turned to writing. He dedicated the rest of his life to compiling his thesaurus.
Below, we’ve combined several homeschool thesaurus resources for National Thesaurus Day and building vocabulary skills.
8 Dictionary and Language Arts Resources
Even digitally, dictionaries are heavily in use daily by millions of people worldwide. Whether we simply Google a new word or look for the proper pronunciation, dictionaries are our resource. In our age of technology, online dictionaries are increasingly helpful without much effort expended on our parts. However, it’s always good to know how to use a physical dictionary as well, and there are plenty of ways to make it fun for your children!
Additionally, there are lots of fun facts to learn about dictionaries. For example, Noah Webster learned 26 languages to create his first dictionary! Webster wasn’t the first American to produce a dictionary, but his name is synonymous with the dictionary because he produced the first specifically American lexicon with American spellings of words. Further, it takes copious research, citations, and proof to add a new word to modern dictionaries. Finally, did you know that in the 16th and 17th centuries, dictionaries merely included difficult words rather than the complete English language?
Now that you know more about the dictionary, let’s add a dictionary skills activity and resources to your homeschool for ways to learn new words!
The thesaurus and dictionary are integral parts of a language arts study! As homeschoolers, we have the opportunity to learn all about these key English resources, as well as utilize them in engaging activities for teaching new words. We have created a FREE printable for word exploration in your homeschool! Just sign up below and enjoy our fun activity to help your children find synonyms, antonyms, definitions, and more. The thesaurus and dictionary are both incredibly helpful in homeschool language studies, so let’s use them!