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Understanding how to use a dictionary is an important skill for your child to learn. A dictionary is a book or online resource that lists the words of a language, usually in alphabetical order. Your child will probably have seen a children's dictionary in their school or in the library. Here's a short video that explains how a dictionary works and what it can do for you.
A dictionary explains the meaning of a word, and can also help you and your child to improve spelling accuracy.
Dictionaries are in alphabetical order. Have a look at this video to understand how words are put into alphabetical order.
Set your child a challenge to see how quickly they can find words that you call out. That's good fun, and they will get faster as they practise.
There are useful free online dictionaries like the Collins dictionary. If your spelling is not quite right, it will say "did you mean ..." and give you the correct spelling. It also gives you examples of sentences that use the word you have looked up.
It’s important to encourage whatever reading your child is doing at this age. Children have their own interests and hobbies so they will be more inclined to read information about these subjects. Having comics, papers or magazines around the house will make it easier for your child to get into reading. Your child might find it appealing to read online and you might like that the book can be read by an automated voice. E books can be looked at when you are on the move, making sure that your child is careful with your computer or phone.
Your child might like to read a section of the newspaper or a magazine – the sports, fashion or cooking sections - depending on their interests. They might like to read a short piece from a newspaper and underline facts with a pen and opinion with a pencil. You can then talk about the difference between fact and opinion (there are good examples in sports writing). Encourage your child to read instructions for mending bikes, building models and playing new games.
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