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Create a Word



  • Arts & Humanities


  • 3-5
  • 6-8
  • 9-12

Brief Description

Students work in small groups to brainstorm new words for a class dictionary.


Students use creative-thinking and creative-writing skills to develop new words.


dictionary, words, entry, citation

Materials Needed

  • paper
  • pens, pencils
  • chalk, chalkboard
  • colored tag board or construction paper
  • hole puncher
  • brads or other fastening devices
  • markers, crayons, or other art materials
  • computer(s) with Internet access (optional)

Lesson Plan

  • Motivation: Ask students to discuss their thoughts about how words get into dictionaries. Write students' responses on the board.
  • For younger students: Read and discuss the article How Does a Word Get into the Dictionary? with the class.
  • For older students: If Internet access is available to everyone, have students read the feature noted above; if not, print the information. Ask students to define the word citations. Ask them to discuss what part citations play in determining whether a word is added to a dictionary.
  • Organize students into small groups. Tell students that each group will brainstorm new words for a class dictionary. They will use each word in a sentence. Each group should come up with at least one word per individual in the group. For older students: Have each group write definitions for their new words and indicate the part of speech -- noun, verb, etc. -- for each word.
  • When everyone has finished, have students read their words and sentences to the class.
  • Compile the words into a booklet fastened with brads or other devices. Have students brainstorm a title for the dictionary and decorate the tag board or construction paper cover.


Observe students' abilities to work in cooperative groups. Evaluate students' words and sentences.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Lois Lewis

National Standards

Language Arts

Visual Arts: