Every year on October 16, the United States celebrates National Dictionary Day in honor of Noah Webster, the Father of the American Dictionary, who was born on this day in 1758. Dictionaries and reference materials give students the tools to grow, learn, and explore independently; they can be exciting passageways to new information in addition to useful learning resources. To celebrate the holiday, we’re sharing some of our favorite ways to incorporate reference materials into everyday learning—and to keep them exciting.
- Word of the Day. Have children crack open their dictionaries and pick a new word to incorporate into their vocabulary every day. Encourage them to pick words that are a balance of challenging and accessible; you want them to continue to learn and grow, but the words should be ones that they can actually use! Motivating students to use a physical dictionary rather than online resources has shown to help their spelling, phonology, and reading. Over time, students will grow their vocabularies, improve comprehension skills, and learn to value education. (Here’s a tip: student dictionaries, like ones available from World Book, are specifically tailored to communicate most effectively to school-aged children. This takes away the fuss of an intimidating adult dictionary!)
- Research Race. Show students all the fascinating information, photographs, diagrams, and media that encyclopedias and digital databases have to offer by prompting them to find answers about their favorite topics. Students can team up or work independently in a race to find answers as they research!
- Around-the-World Scavenger Hunt. Let students travel to and learn about places all over the globe through the pages of an atlas! Motivate their exploration by having them hunt for answers about geography and culture in a scavenger hunt that takes them around the world.
To help you try these tricks out, we’re offering a flash sale on our dictionaries, atlases, and encyclopedias! You’ll get up to an additional $60 off all our reference materials.