23 Reading the Dictionary


1. Find a dictionary that is a book, not a computer program or website. Read it for at least 10 minutes.


If you have access to the Oxford English Dictionary online

2. At the OED site, click the “Lost for Words?” link below the search box.

4.Choose a word. Take a look at its entry. (Note: Under the word title [in red at the top], click the “Full entry” link to make sure you’ve got the whole dictionary entry.)

4. Keep using the “Lost for Words” link to wander randomly through the dictionary. (You’ll always find the link under the Quick Search box at the upper right side of the screen.) Read at least 5 entries.


If you don’t have access to the OED online (or even if you do)

2. Look at the Merriam-Webster website’s Words at Play section. Browse around.

3. Choose a word on the site. Read its entry. (Be sure to scroll down for things like the “Time Traveller” feature.

4. Keep browsing through the features at Merriam-Webster and looking up words. Read at least 5 entries.


5. Write a reflection about your experience of reading these dictionaries (the book and the online dictionary). How were they similar? Different? What surprised you? Did you learn any fun new words? How? Why?

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