6 Vocabulary Building Writing Activities with Mrs. Wordsmith’s Storyteller’s Illustrated Dictionary

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Disclosure: I partnered with Mrs. Wordsmith to bring you this information.


Grow a child’s vocabulary and writing skills with Mrs. Wordsmith’s Storyteller’s Illustrated Dictionary. This deluxe, illustrated storytelling dictionary gets kids jazzed about words with over 1,000 words illustrated in entertaining cartoons.
–>Buy The Storyteller’s Illustrated Dictionary on Mrs. Wordsmith’s site or on Amazon.

6 Vocabulary Building Writing Activities with Mrs. Wordsmith's Storyteller Dictionary

And those illustrations? They are from Craig Kellman, the Hollywood artist behind Madagascar and Hotel Transylvania? Talk about street cred. He’s the real deal who knows what appeals to kids. Honestly, I think the illustrations are like candy to kids. My daughter and her friend LOVE this dictionary.


As a teacher and parent, I want to pull my hair out trying to get kids to SHOW not TELL in their writing.


Can you relate?


I don’t want to read “My summer vacation was fun” papers.


Or, “My sister is mean“.


It’s boring. And tells me nothing useful.


Good writers write with juicy, sensory details.


Just after dawn, my family ate a scrumptious English breakfast in the picturesque solarium overlooking the ocean.




After turning out the lights and locking me in my room, my malicious sister cackled with glee.


Want to know how kids improve their writing with rich, sensory details?


With a bigger vocabulary.

(Incidentally, vocabulary is fundamental in reading comprehension as well.)

Mrs. Wordsmith’s Storyteller’s Illustrated Dictionary is a must own resource to help grow a child’s vocabulary and directly improve their writing skills.


It’s divided into six sections which you’ll see indicated on the edges of the pages:




Mrs. Wordsmith's Storyteller's Illustrated Dictionary


You’ll want to have Mrs. Wordsmith’s Storyteller’s Illustrated Dictionary right next to you as you’re writing.


Both my daughter and her friend loved just browsing through it on their own.

Mrs. Wordsmith's Storyteller's Illustrated Dictionary

If you’re looking for specific vocabulary building writing activities, I want to share six ideas for using this invaluable resource.

6 Writing Activities for Mrs. Wordsmith’s Storyteller’s Illustrated Dictionary


6 Vocabulary Building Writing Activities for Mrs. Wordsmith's Storyteller Dictionary

1. Brainstorm Story Ideas

Flip through the dictionary to get ideas for a story. Because whether you start with settings or characters or weather, in any section your creativity will immediately.
JJ didn’t take long at all to get a setting, characters, and plot idea. Neither did her friend. (Shown above.)


2. Write an Alphabet Book

When learning new words, you’ll want to use then use them in a sentence — frequently. But how can you make this practice fun?

Write an alphabet book with your new words!

Take any section in the dictionary. For example, you might pick the weather words section. Start with a and find new, interesting weather words for each letter of the alphabet all the way to z. But don’t stop there. Use each word in a sentence then illustrate it.

Talk about cementing your new vocabulary words.

Directions for making your own blank books here and here.

3. Make a 6 Word Story Prompt

Pick six random (NEW) words from Mrs. Wordsmith’s Storyteller’s Illustrated Dictionary.

Write them down at the top of your paper.

Use them to get an idea for a story.

Then use the words in a story.

learn new words with this illustrated dictionary for kids

4. Write a Character Description

Since good writers use juicy words to show and not tell, introduce writers to the character section of Mrs. Wordsmith’s Storyteller Dictionary.

Find words that show readers a visual picture in their head of what the person looks like.

You’ll find words like eyeballs, dimples, wart, wrinkles, and cheekbones.

Then think of someone you know. Find words in the character section to visually describe them with words.

Use enough detail that a reader could draw the person being described.

Illustrated Storyteller Dictionary for Kids

5. Revise for Strong Verbs

Writers use vivid verbs to capture the reader’s attention. Use the Storyteller’s Illustrated Dictionary to write and to revise for strong verbs.

Revising is when you go back to your writing and make it better by changing the words. (This is different than editing which is correcting punctuation and grammar.)

To make your verbs stronger, replace verbs of being (am, is, are, was, were) with vivid action verbs.

I suggest that you start with the “Actions” section where you’ll find zesty verbs like sneer, blurt, hurtle, scamper, and bicker.

6. Write with Specific Nouns

The more a writer can use specific nouns, the better the writing. Why? Because clarity, or specificity, helps the writing make sense to the reader.

Growing writers often write with general words like “things” and “stuff”.

Take those out.

Replace these words with more specific nouns that you find in the Storyteller’s Dictionary.

In other words, use kale and watermelon instead of food; daffodil instead of flower; twilight instead of night.

Be specific with your nouns.

Mrs. Wordsmith’s Storyteller’s Illustrated Dictionary will help.

6 Vocabulary Building Writing Activities for Mrs. Wordsmith's Storyteller Illustrated Dictionary

Buy The Storyteller’s Illustrated Dictionary on Mrs. Wordsmith’s site here or on Amazon here.

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  1. Had not heard about Mrs. Wordsmith’s Storytelling Dictionary until this post, so thank you for that, Melissa. As well as the step-by-step ideas. What a great help to parents who, themselves, may not be story-inclined!