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dictionary skills: giant Pacific octopus

2 - The Grammar Bit

The Grammar Bit!

Learning how to use a dictionary is an important skill – one which you will be very familiar with now that you are in Year 6. Dictionaries can be used to help you understand the meaning of a word and ‘stretch’ your vocabulary. They can also be used to help you spell a word correctly.

Dictionaries are ordered alphabetically with words that begin with A at the front and those that begin with Z at the back. Once you have found the general location of a word in the dictionary, you will need to look at the second, third and sometimes the fourth letters of a word to find its exact location. (Using a dictionary’s guide words, located at the top of each page, will speed up the process of finding the word that you need.)

Read the three scintillating sentences opposite. With your talk partner, use a dictionary to quickly locate one of the words highlighted in bold. How quickly were you able to do this? What is the meaning of this word?

Scintillating Sentences

1) The fisherman was deeply perplexed by the crab shells that littered the bottom of his crab pot.

2) As the crab pot lay on the sea bed, the shrewd octopus was concocting an elaborate plan to catch the clueless crabs.

3) Like the great escape artist, Harry Houdini, the octopus evaded capture and slipped into the deep-sea crevice.

Did you know?

Octopuses use special pigment cells in their skin to change colours and textures. This enables them to blend in with the most intricately patterned corals, plants, and rocks. Such camouflage enables them to ambush prey and avoid predators.