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Use and Understand a Range of Words

In this worksheet, students will be asked to use both a dictionary and a thesaurus to spell and understand a range of words.

'Use and Understand a Range of Words' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   Reading: Word Reading

Curriculum subtopic:   Root Word Awareness

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

No one knows how many words there are in the English language, but there are certainly thousands and thousands!

To become a fantastic writer, you will need to be able to spell and understand a wide range of words.

 

Why do we use a dictionary?

A dictionary will tell you what a word means and which class it belongs to, for example: verb or noun.

Dictionaries will tell us the spelling and definition of an unknown word.

A definition is a phrase or sentence that describes the meaning of a word.

A dictionary improves your research skills and will extend your thinking about the English language.

You can even use an online dictionary to improve your ICT skills at the same time!

All dictionaries are arranged alphabetically. 

 

Why do we use a thesaurus?

A thesaurus is a book of synonyms.

It contains words that have the same meaning but are spelt differently.

Again, the words are in alphabetical order.

A thesaurus is also a tool in Microsoft Word.

For example, if we start with this sentence:

'The cake certainly tasted nice.'

Is there a better word for nice?

Absolutely!

If we look 'nice' up in a thesaurus, we are given a whole list of synonyms to choose from: 'lovely', 'charming', 'delightful', 'inviting', 'superior' and many, many more! It's then up to you to choose the most suitable synonym for your sentence.

 

In this activity, use a dictionary and thesaurus to help you to answer the questions.

Remember, you will be able to find an online dictionary and thesaurus.

Use a dictionary to help you match the unusual words below with their correct meaning.

Column A

Column B

Plumbum
The technical name of lead
Crizzle
A kind of dolphin native on the River Ganges
Soosoo
To become wrinkled or rough on the skin, e.g. glas...

Use a dictionary to help you to match the unusual words below with their correct meaning.

Column A

Column B

Doromania
An unusual urge with giving gifts
Gobbledygook
A text riddled with jargon and complicated sentenc...
Quire
To order 24 or 25 sheets of paper

Look carefully at the list of words below, can you arrange them in alphabetical order, as they would appear in a dictionary?

Column A

Column B

1st
Gripe
2nd
Grunt
3rd
Grow
4th
Grain

Look carefully at the list of words below, can you arrange them in alphabetical order, as they would appear in a dictionary?

Column A

Column B

1st
Profession
2nd
Profile
3rd
Professor
4th
Profuse

Use a dictionary to create a list of six words on the subject of animals.

Below is a list of words, use a thesaurus to help you to match each with its synonym.

 

Big     Small     Fast     Slow

Column A

Column B

Big
Petite
Small
Rapid
Fast
Monstrous
Slow
Sluggish

Look below there are four words, use a thesaurus to help you to match each with its correct synonym.

 

Cry     Laugh     Sad     Pleased

Column A

Column B

Cry
Delighted
Laugh
Weep
Sad
Guffaw
Pleased
Devastated

Read the sentence below, can you improve the word emboldened using a thesaurus?

 

'The circus performer confidently rode around the Big Top on a big horse.'

Read the sentence below, can you find the meaning of the emboldened word and type it into the box?

You will need to choose whether to use a dictionary or a thesaurus.

 

'All at once, a wisp of acrid smoke twisted upwards into the sky.'

Read the sentence below carefully.

Tick the correct meaning of the word in bold.

 

'She may well look very culpable but we do not have any evidence.'

Blameworthy

Honest

Able

  • Question 1

Use a dictionary to help you match the unusual words below with their correct meaning.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Plumbum
The technical name of lead
Crizzle
To become wrinkled or rough on th...
Soosoo
A kind of dolphin native on the R...
EDDIE SAYS
How did you find this first question? These were certainly some unusual words! Remember that a dictionary is arranged alphabetically and each piece of information is called an entry.
  • Question 2

Use a dictionary to help you to match the unusual words below with their correct meaning.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Doromania
An unusual urge with giving gifts
Gobbledygook
A text riddled with jargon and co...
Quire
To order 24 or 25 sheets of paper
EDDIE SAYS
Again, there were some pretty strange words here! Don’t panic if you found this difficult we will keep practising together.
  • Question 3

Look carefully at the list of words below, can you arrange them in alphabetical order, as they would appear in a dictionary?

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

1st
Grain
2nd
Gripe
3rd
Grow
4th
Grunt
EDDIE SAYS
How did you find this task? When organising words into alphabetical order (like in a dictionary) look at the second letter and so on to order appropriately. For example, 'gripe' comes after 'grain' because although the first two letters in both words are the same, the third letter 'i' appears after 'a' in the alphabet.
  • Question 4

Look carefully at the list of words below, can you arrange them in alphabetical order, as they would appear in a dictionary?

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

1st
Profession
2nd
Professor
3rd
Profile
4th
Profuse
EDDIE SAYS
How did you find this question? Remember, when organising words into alphabetical order (like in a dictionary) look at the second letter and so on, to order appropriately.
  • Question 5

Use a dictionary to create a list of six words on the subject of animals.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
To achieve two marks for this question, the student needs to correctly use a dictionary to find six animal-related words. These could be linked to species, habitat, diet, features etc.
  • Question 6

Below is a list of words, use a thesaurus to help you to match each with its synonym.

 

Big     Small     Fast     Slow

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Big
Monstrous
Small
Petite
Fast
Rapid
Slow
Sluggish
EDDIE SAYS
Great focus, you are becoming a fantastic word detective! Using a thesaurus and thinking carefully about your word choice undoubtedly makes your writing more interesting for the reader.
  • Question 7

Look below there are four words, use a thesaurus to help you to match each with its correct synonym.

 

Cry     Laugh     Sad     Pleased

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Cry
Weep
Laugh
Guffaw
Sad
Devastated
Pleased
Delighted
EDDIE SAYS
Remember a thesaurus is a dictionary of synonyms. Are you feeling more confident by this point?
  • Question 8

Read the sentence below, can you improve the word emboldened using a thesaurus?

 

'The circus performer confidently rode around the Big Top on a big horse.'

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
To achieve a mark for this question, the student needs to find a suitable synonym for 'big' using a thesaurus. For example: 'enormous' or 'gigantic'.
  • Question 9

Read the sentence below, can you find the meaning of the emboldened word and type it into the box?

You will need to choose whether to use a dictionary or a thesaurus.

 

'All at once, a wisp of acrid smoke twisted upwards into the sky.'

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
To answer this question, the student had to select to use a dictionary to find the definition of 'acrid'. Acrid means unpleasantly bitter or pungent.
  • Question 10

Read the sentence below carefully.

Tick the correct meaning of the word in bold.

 

'She may well look very culpable but we do not have any evidence.'

CORRECT ANSWER
Blameworthy
EDDIE SAYS
In this sentence, the meaning of 'culpable' is the same as 'blameworthy'. The sentence suggests that it's likely 'she' has committed the act, but it can't be proven! Great focus, that’s another activity completed!
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