Dictionaries – Day #5 Words Within Words


Looking for a fun game that uses a dictionary? Try this one out!

How many words can you find in the word…


Grab a piece of lined paper, write the word DICTIONARIES on the top of the page, and then find, and write, as many words as you can using the letters provided. Each letter can only be used once, unless there is more than one of that letter. Use a dictionary/spell checker to challenge words or to make sure a word is ‘real’!

When playing the game with multiple players, have players take turns writing down words. Use a timer to give each player between 30 seconds and 1 minute to say a word. If a usable word can not be given, the player can pass his turn to the next player.

Decide how long the game will run or how many words need to be found before starting the game.

If you would like to find some ways to make this game more challenging, please visit my post Words Within Words where you will find some interesting ways to play and links that will reveal the ‘hidden words’.

FYI: More than 1500 words can be made from DICTIONARIES!

🐞 If you have someone who is not spelling words on their own yet, play around with the letters together. Talk about vowels and consonants and ask them to pick out a vowel and two consonants and put the letters together in some way and read the word. Sometimes it will sound like and be a “real” word, sometimes it won’t. There are a bunch of 2 and 3 letter words that can be made with these letters.

You can also play with the letters that may be more familiar to them, like their name. The game: What’s In A Name? uses the person’s name and easy to manipulate letters to make learning more fun. 


Have a fun!

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Dictionaries – Day #4 Types of Dictionaries


There are all different kinds of dictionaries in the world today. Some offer a lot of pictures and are called picture dictionaries, others offer words for a specific topic or subject. Check your local library for various dictionaries and see if there is one on your favorite topic.

There are visual dictionaries available on line, here is a small sampling…


http://www.visualdictionaryonline.com/ – Click on a picture or type what you are looking for in the search box. This site offers both words and pictures.


https://visuwords.com/dictionary – Put a word in the search bar on the top of the page and the site will show the word in the middle and branch off into other related words. It is similar to a mind map.When you move over a word with your mouse, its meaning will pop-up.


http://www.ikonet.com/en/visualdictionary/ –  Click on any picture to begin exploring one of the 17 themes the site has to offer. You can search for topics too. Click on the icon that looks like a speaker to hear how it’s said. Meanings for words are also provided in that area.


https://infovisual.info/en – Click on any topic offered or put your own word in the search bar. You’ll get a labeled picture with an explanation for each labeled part of the picture.


https://7esl.com/ – This is a visual dictionary of terms for people learning English. Scroll down the page for the meanings of each picture offered.


Regular online dictionaries…

For these sites, you can type a word in the search area to find out what it means.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/


http://www.dictionary.com/

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/


https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/


http://www.thesaurus.com/ – This site offers both a dictionary and a thesaurus.


Look for specialized dictionaries too:

https://www.dailywritingtips.com/5-types-of-specialized-dictionaries/

Here’s an activity Everyone can do…little ones may need some help.


Make your own specialized dictionary based on a favorite topic: Use copy, graph, lined, or construction paper to make your dictionary, and staple or sew the booklet together. Write a letter on each page in ABC order, then choose a topic for your dictionary. Write a word on each page that begins with that letter. Next, add pictures or draw something that relates to your chosen topic if possible, and/or write its meaning, a little bit about it, a sentence, an observation, or something else.


Here’s a video about how to make a simple book, and while recommended for early learners, older kids and adults can use this concept to make their own books with better quality materials if desired.

This video shows how to bind your own books with a Saddle Stitch…

Related Post: Dictionaries – Access all the days in one place!


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Dictionaries – Day #3 Dictionary Creators



I personally think a dictionary is a very useful tool and was curious to know who was the first to take the time to create one. I also wondered if any other cultures had and used a similar idea. As it turns out, dictionaries go WAY back to ancient times in one form or another!

The modern English dictionary was invented by Samuel Johnson and published in 1755. 
This is a documentary about Samuel Johnson: The Dictionary Man


If you would rather read a little about him: 

Noah Webster wrote the first American dictionary in 1806. This video:
Noah Webster: Biography, Education, Facts, History, Dictionary, Quotes has information about him.

If you would rather read about Webster:

Information about various cultures who had and used dictionaries can be found here:

Wikipedia: Dictionary – Offers a history of cultural dictionaries from ancient to modern times.
Also: Oxford English Dictionary, Chinese Dictionary, Japanese Dictionary, and others such as specialized dictionaries.

Here’s some information about the The first dictionaries of English, you’ll need a membership to access all the information, but it’s a good jumping off point if you want to study more about the topics included in the article on your own.

Other Things of Interest

Read an interview with a lexicographer Erin McKean:

https://www.visualthesaurus.com/cm/dictionary/writing-dictionaries/

YouTube Dictionary Playlist – These videos and others can be found in the playlist created for this topic.

🐞 For the Little Ones 🐞

If you have a little one, go to the library and find some picture books and a child’s dictionary and check a few out.
If you have a few of your own on hand already… Find words via the pictures included in the publication and read or talk about their meanings. Act out pictures and have fun with them. Make up a sentence using the actions you created while reading though the books together.

Related Post: Dictionaries – Access all the days in one place!

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Dictionaries – Day #2 Alphabetize Your Family Members


Whether you have a lot of family members or just a few, today, you are encouraged to alphabetize in one or more of these fun ways.


  • Write down the name of your family members on a piece of lined paper, then alphabetize them on another piece of paper or the other half of the page you started with. Don’t forget grandparents, aunts, uncles, and pets!
  • Write your name or someone else’s name on lined paper, one letter per line, down one side of the page. Use capital letters.
  • Next come up with a word for each letter of the name you’ve chosen. Then alphabetize all the words. If your word has two or more letters that are the same, be sure to alphabetize those words correctly too.
How to Alphabetize:

https://www.thoughtco.com/how-to-alphabetize-1856896

🐞 If you have a little one, run through the alphabet with them so they can learn how to alphabetize. Sing an ABC song, read an ABC book, make a game out of the ABC’s, or play the Active Alphabet.


Related Post: Dictionaries – Access all the days in one place!

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Dictionaries – Day #1 Build Your Vocabulary

Get the week started by building your vocabulary:
  • Pull up a dictionary site, or open a physical dictionary to a random page, and learn the word that appeals to you most. 

    Write the word down somewhere or text it to yourself so you don’t forget it, read its meaning, then find ways to use it throughout the day.


    If you have a young child, encourage them to play along with you. Give them a picture book and choose a new word to use and play with each day. Make up a song, draw a picture, do some kind of craft, or make up a game that features that object.

    Related Post: Dictionaries

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    Dictionaries



    This week is about dictionaries:

    Day #1: Get the week started by building your vocabulary.

    Day #2Alphabetize Your Family Members

    Day #3Dictionary Creators

    Day #4: Types of Dictionaries

    Day #5: Words Within Words


    Connect with Funschooling and Recreational Learning!
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    What’s In A Name? – Game

    What’s in a name? Play this fun word game and find out!

    Set-up: You’ll need enough bottle caps or index cards to spell out each players first name (full) and either letter stickers or a permanent marker. 
    Place a letter sticker or write a letter under each cap, or write one letter on each card that spells out the player’s name, or a the name of someone or something important to them. 

    Play: Have players spell out their own name by putting the caps/cards in the correct order. Then play with the letters in order to form other words, real or not, and say the word or someone can say it for a non-reader. If the chosen name can not spell another word, or spells too few words, add a middle or last name to the game.
    Occasionally, we will play a version of the game where each player chooses a consonant, a vowel and another consonant to form a word, real or not, and we sound it out to the best of our ability. If it is not a word, we exchange letters until a “real” word is formed. Letters can be shared in this version to form new words as well.

    Benefits: Players will get to know how to spell their own name and names that are important them, they will get to know the letters they play with, and gain an understanding of how letter form words and that each letter, and letter combination, has a sound, or a combination of sounds. They will get to know what a consonant and a vowel is if that version of the game is played.
    Tips and Suggestions…
    • This is a game and it should be played in an informal, experimental way that is not stressful. 
    • Players can choose to write the words the letters spell on a piece of paper to keep track of what words have been made. I usually write all the words down on a piece of paper and hold on to it.
    When players are ready, play the game Words within Words. This game offers a few ways to play that make the game more challenging.


    This post is part of the Building Writing Skills series on Fran’s World of Discovery. If you are interested in reading more from this series, please use the following links:

    Building Writing Skills Naturally – Offers links to activity suggestions that have many built in benefits. (Coming Soon!)

    No More Tears! – Introduction page.


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    Note: Has this or another activity on Fran’s World of Discovery inspired you or someone else in a positive way? Have you featured this activity in a blog post? I invite you to comment and link back to where your post can be found, or tell me what you or your family enjoyed about the post! Thank you!

    Spark of the Day: Words within Words

    Fun Magnified

    Here’s a fun game that you can never out grow, you just make it more challenging each time you play! Finding words within words has become a fun family favorite in our home, and I hope it will be the same in yours!

    What you will need:

    Lined paper, a pencil and a dictionary or a spell checker

    What to do:

    Give each player a piece of paper, choose a word, a group of words or a phrase, and write them on the top of the page.

    Use the letters in the word(s) to make as many new words as possible.

    You can use everyday words, names, holidays, phrases, or random letters to make your words.

    Everyone should be allowed to use a spell checker or dictionary to look up words when playing the game the first few times. When everyone understands how to play the game, the spell checker or dictionary should only be used for challenging words. Verify words before you say, “that’s not a word!” because it may be and you do not even know it!

    Note: If you want a full list of what words can be found in your chosen word or phrase, please check out this site: Wordles –  Wordplays: Words Within Words or Scrabble Word Finder

    Sample Word…..

    Here are just a few of almost 300 words, that can be found in the word:
    funschooling

    fun, cool, noon, hug, go, no, nun, sun, fin, gin, fling, log, confusion

    Who can play?

    This is a great game for anyone who likes to write, who is reluctant to write, or anyone who would like to hone their thinking skills! It can be played by anyone who can identify words or those who would like to try! If you have a reluctant writer or reader, this game may help them feel more comfortable because they will be using words in a fun and interesting way.

    Getting started….

    Start out by sharing a piece of paper and take turns finding and writing one word at a time. When players are feeling more confident with the game, give everyone their own piece of paper, and take turns writing two or three words during each turn. Continue this way until you cannot make any more words, or until the game loses its appeal.

    Tip: Too many rules may make the game confusing and discourage someone from wanting to play. When playing with new or younger players, keep the game open-ended by limiting or eliminating the rules.

    When you are ready, add some twists to the game….

    •  Make a minimum word length (ie: words need to be at least 3 or 4 letters long).
    •  See who can get the most words, the longest word, and who can finish first.
    •  Make the rule that names cannot be used (ie. Tom, Kim, Mike etc.)
    •  Set a timer and find a certain number of words within that time period!
    •  Play until each player reaches a set goal or until the person with the most words wins.
    •  Cross-out the words that are the same between the players.
    •  Make a rule that each player must know what the word means. Challenge a word to see if the other player knows what the word means or if they are guessing at its authenticity! If the word cannot be verified, what will the consequence be? (write five extra words, lose five words, skipped turn?)
    •  Keep score: make each letter of the word count as one point
    •  If you have a word that is spelled the same but sounds differently (homographs), should the player be allowed to keep it? (We usually allow the word as long as the player knows the meanings.)

    It’s important to decide on and agree to the rules before playing.

    Open-ended Play Version

    It can be a lot of fun to come up with words and jot them down throughout the day, so leave the game around for everyone to play!

    Challenging Versions

    1. Play with parts of speech by using only verbs, nouns, adjectives, or adverbs. Use a spell checker/dictionary to challenge words.
    2. Have all the words begin with a certain letter or use a specific topic such as animals or places.

    Non-writer Version

    • Do you have a good reader who refuses to write? Then make letter cards out of index cards or small paper squares. Make one card for each letter of the chosen word/phrase and ask the player to make words with the letter cards.
    • Use letter tiles from another word games or use magnetic letters or words.
    • Have the player type the words into a word processor or use a voice dictation system.

    Keeping Records

    • If you need to keep written records of the things you do for evaluation purposes, date your child’s page and put it in a folder.
    • You can also have someone else date the page and write the words down for the player who does not write. 
    • Attach a picture of the child playing the game to the page used for a game if records need to be kept.

    Remember to keep it fun!