Submitted by: Richard Linville

Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

In this dictionary lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades 3 through 8, students use BrainPOP resources to learn how to find a word and its meaning in a dictionary using guide words. Students will then create a dictionary challenge for their classmates including guide words as clues.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Use the guide words in a dictionary to find a word and its information.
  2. Create a dictionary challenge for their classmates including guide words as clues.


  • Dictionary for each student or one dictionary for each small group of students
  • A record sheet and pencil for each student
  • Computer with internet access and BrainPOP


dictionary; thesaurus; entry word; guide words; syllables; definitions; synonym


Make a list of 5 words for the students and set up a computer for viewing BrainPOP. Create a record sheet with a heading that includes: NUMBER (#); WORD; PAGE; GUIDE WORDS 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Ask students to explain why people use dictionaries.
  2. Take BrainPOP's Dictionary and Thesaurus POP Quiz to quickly assess what students already know.
  3. Start the BrainPOP Dictionary and Thesaurus movie. Pause and discuss where necessary.
  4. After the movie, have the students complete the Quiz again.
  5. Next, give each student a record sheet and pencil.
  6. Pass out dictionaries to each student or each group of students.
  7. Explain that each student or group is going to look up a word using the guide words at the top of each page.
  8. When the students find the word, they write down its page number and guide words.
  9. Students can share their findings and create dictionary challenges for the other students/groups to find their words using the guide words and a few other clues.
  10. Students can correct one another's dictionary challenges.

Extension Activities:

Change the GUIDE WORDS heading to DEFINITIONS, or PARTS of SPEECH. Use a thesaurus instead of a dictionary. Tap into the Related Reading for homework or partner reading activities to extend this topic