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Thesaurus or Dictionary recommendations?

(17 Posts)
keely79 Wed 09-Dec-15 15:12:40


Looking to get a thesaurus or dictionary to assist DD (6) with her reading. She is in Year 1. She is reading really well and has moved on to full length chapter books - at the moment it's The Midnight Fox by Betsy Byars.

While she can decode the majority of the words, she does have quite a few words where (understandably) she doesn't really understand what they mean (for example, laxity, galvanised, unconcerned). Of course, we can give her explanations as we go along, but was thinking that it might be good for her to look the words up in a dictionary or thesaurus so that (a) she's learning research skills and (b) the meaning is more likely to "go in".

So - can anyone recommend a good thesaurus or dictionary with a reasonable range of vocabulary but that won't be completely impenetrable for her?

Have also posted this in Children's books but not sure where it best sits!

RueDeWakening Wed 09-Dec-15 17:37:11

I like this Usborne one, but DD is older. I think she had an Oxford First Dictionary in KS1.

irvine101 Wed 09-Dec-15 17:47:21

I would recommend electronic one!
We bought him when he was 6, and he can't do without it now.
He had normal one, but it was struggle to use it while he is reading/writing
to look up the words manually. With electronic one, he can look up the meaning, and use the thesaurus function in seconds. It really made it easier for him to read books, look up the words, go back to reading.

Also it has a spellchecker, so if he is writing, and he isn't sure how to spell words, he can type in the words and it gives you right spelling.

Ferguson Wed 09-Dec-15 20:19:12

I think the Oxford ones set the standard, so look on their web site - but I've just tried and it's not easy to get to exactly what you want.

But I can also recommend the Oxford Phonics Spelling Dictionary: this is arranged in the same order that Phonics is usually taught, and contains a lot of helpful information on spellings, and is ideal for Yr1 and right up to early Secondary. However, it does not explain meanings, so you will also need one of their early 'regular' style dictionaries.

ikuji Thu 10-Dec-15 09:57:57

I second the electronic dictionary.

mrz Thu 10-Dec-15 10:39:04

For a six year old id recommend discussion to build vocabulary. Most dictionaries/thesauruses aimed at this age are very limited in content.

irvine101 Thu 10-Dec-15 18:22:15

I think if your dd is reading long chapter books, I wouldn't recommend dictionary aimed at KS1.

We have lots of dictionary , Usborne, Oxford, Webster, Penguin. They are all good. We bought all of them from charity shops.
I think if you like the book type dictionary, take her to the book shop and let her choose one she likes. I still recommend electronic one though.

keely79 Fri 11-Dec-15 15:05:28

Thanks very much everyone. I love the idea of the electronic ones but I think that a book would be better at this stage as the act of finding the words is what I hope will help her to retain the information.

DD's teacher has suggested the Oxford Illustrated Children's Dictionary and Thesaurus (aimed at 8+) or the Oxford English dictionary and Thesaurus for schools (aimed at 11-16 year olds).

I think a trip to the bookstore this weekend to look at the dictionaries for 8 year olds is in order and then she can pick.

mrz Fri 11-Dec-15 15:18:52

When I said 'aimed at this age" I meant primary age (up to age 11) - illustrated dictionaries are very limiting IMHO.

mrz Fri 11-Dec-15 15:27:03

Last year I ran after school book groups for children in Y4 and Y6 and The Oxford English Dictionary for Schools didn't include lots of the vocabulary from the novels we were reading.

WeAllHaveWings Fri 11-Dec-15 15:36:32

I bought ds Oxford english dictionaries and thesaurus when he was that age and honestly they were rarely opened and sometimes it didn't have the word he was looking for.

If he's struggling with a word he uses the tablet which is the modern way to research. Not sure if he'll need one in secondary school, but hasn't needed one in primary at all.

keely79 Fri 11-Dec-15 15:40:05

I know it won't address the more uncommon words and certainly won't be using to replace discussion with her - her reading homework is 20 minutes out loud every night and we write down in her record book any words which she needed explained to her so that she can discuss further with her teacher as well.

By year 4 I would expect we'll be on to full dictionaries to cover the vocab she'll need at that stage but for the time being would like to use a more attractive format for her even if it doesn't cover everything she needs - she only turned 6 in October and even though her reading is advanced, she's still only small!

We've got adult dictionaries and thesauruses at home already to supplement as required.

irvine101 Fri 11-Dec-15 15:55:42

I make sure my ds still uses book type dictionary when he come across the words he doesn't know in comprehension homework etc., because I think skill to look up the dictionary is important.
But when he is reading book, looking up words will break the flow of reading and he was kind of reluctant. Electronic one solved that problem.
As for retaining, his one has a list function which stores all the words he looked up and those words comes up on game function(hangman, word builder, jumble, crossword etc.), and he loves playing with it.

mrz Fri 11-Dec-15 16:00:00

I would stick with the adult versions rather than buy school versions unless she us reading books with very limited vocabulary.

mrz Fri 11-Dec-15 16:01:53

In Y4 children are just 8 years old so appropriate novels don't contain obscure/uncommon vocabulary.

irvine101 Fri 11-Dec-15 16:32:54

I agree with mrz. He only uses adult version dictionary since yr1. He had children's one, but those didn't have words he looked up!

PerspicaciaTick Fri 11-Dec-15 16:42:59

My DS has an electronic dictionary bookmark like this. It is invaluable because the time he comes across tricky words while he is reading alone is when he reads to himself at bedtime. So he uses the bookmark to mark his place and he can quickly check any odd words without having to get out of bed.

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