Make a picture dictionary

by | Jul 31, 2017 | Writing Games & Activities

Looking for a clever way to build vocabulary and target common spelling words? Invite your younger children to make a picture dictionary.

Looking for a clever to build vocabulary and target common spelling words? Invite your younger children to make a picture dictionary.

This creative activity combines the fun of making scrapbooks with the skill of learning to write new words. Plus, it’s so much more meaningful when your kids’ personal dictionary reflects their own interests and vocabulary!

First, help your child label loose-leaf pages A, B, C, etc. and insert then into a three-ring binder. Next, encourage him to find pictures of things that are interesting or meaningful to him.

Tips to Make a Picture Dictionary

  • Family members and pets
  • Favorite foods and snacks
  • Familiar household objects and furniture
  • Vehicles
  • Facial expressions (happy, sad, mad)
  • Articles of clothing
  • Toys
  • Colors
  • Action words (run, sit, eat)

Using scissors, your child can cut out pictures from outdated calendars and magazines, old photos, or other sources. Alternatively, he might use stickers of some of these familiar objects. Have him glue each picture onto the appropriate dictionary page (a chair on the C page, for example), adding more loose-leaf pages as needed. If your child can’t find a picture of a word he wants to include, suggest that he draw a picture of it directly on the page. Once he’s added an item, help him write the word or name below the drawing.

It’s OK if the child doesn’t fill the book evenly. Even if he makes five A pages before he has created a single page for X, that’s fine. After all, even in a standard dictionary, certain letters have more word entries.

Older children 

To make the book even more like a dictionary, your third or fourth grader can add a brief description or explanation for each item.

For more writing ideas, see the Writing Games & Activities category.

Happy writing!


  1. Ray

    I am a fan of homeschoolers and I noticed among my homeschooling customers that picture dictionaries are a hit but your idea on making it as an activity is just great! Maybe I could suggest this idea to my customers at [hyperlink removed].

    Great idea!

  2. Kim

    Denise! What a great variation! Thank you so much for commenting.

  3. Denise

    An excellent project! When it’s finally finished, bind it in a stiff-cover presentation book and make a dust jacket for it, complete with author’s photo & bio, promotional blurbs, and a fancy front cover.


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