Sunday, April 7, 2013

Test Prep Fun: Reference Skills

'Twas the Friday before Spring Break and all through the students and I needed something super fun and educational to do to make the long day fly by!

We are now on Spring Break, but the last day before vacation I wanted to start getting ready for our upcoming state test, the CRCT.  One of the Common Core ELA standards that my kids need to know is: 

5L4.c. Consult reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation and determine or clarify the precise meaning of key words and phrases.

I decided to make a fun game using dictionaries because my kids love competition.  I set up two desk in front of the room and separated the class into two teams.  Each desk had a dictionary, white board, and marker.

One person from each team came up to each desk.  I would draw a card from four I had made:  definition, sentence example, part of speech, and pronunciation.  Whichever card I drew, it was a race for the two students to find the word in the dictionary.  (I printed out the list of words that we were given for our spelling bee this year, cut them up, and chose them from a cup.  You can use any words you want)  From there, if it was either definition or sentence example, the first person to read it from the dictionary was the winner.  If it was part of speech or pronunciation, the first person to write it correctly on their white board was the winner.

**for any words that were a homophone, I told them either a sentence or synonym so that they knew which dictionary definition or sentence example to look for**

We played two rounds of this activity and the kids absolutely loved it. It's a great last-minute activity to keep your students engaged and brush up on their ABC order skills, as well as identifying the different parts of a dictionary entry.  Enjoy!!