I have been working on dictionary skills with my third graders for the past couple of weeks, and the time has come to see what they know. For more information about lessons for teaching dictionary skills, check out my earlier post here.
I decided to create a new Dictionary Challenge for my students using ActivInspire for the Promethean board. This has been my first year working with Promethean products, and I have realized that there is definitely a learning curve! It took me awhile to get this flipchart to do exactly what I wanted it to do, so I decided to share it with my fellow Tibrarians so that you don’t have to do all of the leg work!
To use this activity, simply divide your students into groups (I had 6 groups, but you could have more).
I have been using a new method to make groups in the library this year. We have six tables in our teaching station, and each one of them is labeled. Currently, the labels are names of different book awards (ex. “The Newbery Medal Table”, “The Scott O’Dell Award Table”). When students enter the library, I hand them index cards marked with the names of the different tables. Students then sit at the tables that correspond with their index cards…instant groups!
Provide each group with a sheet of paper, a pencil, and enough dictionaries so that each student has one . As students are getting settled, ask each group to choose a “writer” who will record the group’s answers on the provided paper.
If you don’t have enough dictionaries so that each student can have one, just allow students to share. It is worth trying to borrow some from the classrooms, however, as students will get more from the activity if they can all participate equally.
Once students are settled, explain that you will display the eight questions on the Promethean board, one at a time. For each question, the groups will have to decide on an answer, and then have their writer record the answer on their paper. Tell students that only some of the questions will require the use of a dictionary.
You can decide if you want to tell students which questions require the use of the dictionary, or let them figure this out on their own!
After explaining the rules, start the challenge. Each question is on a separate slide, so make sure to give students sufficient time to answer before you move to the next slide. I recommend that you use the pen tool to circle the word that you are asking students to define for the two questions that require definitions (“slip” and “sink”).
When the students have answered all eight questions, gather the papers and redistribute them so that each group will check a paper other than their own. Click through each of the slides again to display the answers to each question. Ask each group’s writer to mark the paper that you have handed him/her. You can collect the papers at the end to see how well your students understand dictionary skills.
If a question has a star or a box at the bottom of the slide, click on the object to reveal the answer. The only slides that do not have answers to reveal are the two slides that ask for definitions. The wording of definitions may vary based on the dictionary that you are using with your students, so it is easiest to read aloud the correct definitions from your library’s dictionary.
Good luck, Tibrarians! Let me know if you have any trouble using this flipchart.