Personal Dictionaries

Tip: Personal Dictionaries

How do I do it?
As students are learning about particular topics, direct them to look up key vocabulary in the dictionary and copy the word, definition, and/or a picture of the word or concept onto a pre-corner-hole-punched index card. Students can: copy the word, draw a picture, use the word in a sentence, and copy the definition onto the card and include the word in their home language. Cards can be kept together by slipping an Acco metal book ring through the hole of each new card added to the collection. Students can use the personal dictionary for reference and support throughout the day for reading, writing, listening, and speaking. 

Alternatives & Extensions
Save sets of personal dictionaries on rings and hung on hooks from former units of study for reference for students when writing and speaking.  For younger students or lower proficiency students, include a picture or sketch and the word on each card. 

Common Core ELA Language Standard 4
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate. 

Tricia Gallagher-Geurtsen
Tricia Gallagher-Geurtsen


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