Yearly Archives: 2019

  1. Dictionary.com’s Winter Break Word Challenges For Kids

    Ah, winter break. That welcome respite from homework, early morning alarms, and packing lunches … well, for about the first four hours anyway. That’s generally when the kids’ cries of “I’m bored!” start echoing through the house, and you contemplate how long you can get away with sending them outside when the weather is something frightful. To stop those cries (or at least dampen them …

  2. Teach Your Kids New Words By Describing These Holiday Characters

    It’s the holiday season—there’s more downtime than usual and the winter weather keeps most of us from spending too much time outside. So it’s obviously a great time to work on analytical and writing skills in a fun and engaging way. Come on, you know that sounds fun! Wait, just hear us out … There are any number of familiar characters in the holiday stories, …

  3. Why “Existential” Was Dictionary.com’s 2019 Word Of The Year

    From existential threats to existential choices “I’m trash!” was the insistent cry of Forky, the googly-eyed spork whose struggle to be a toy was at the heart of the summer blockbuster Toy Story 4. Forky’s plight was entertaining, yes, but it also resonated with a deeper sentiment—and word—that defined so much of 2019. We know what you must be thinking: Forky? The dictionary? 2019? Well, …

  4. Dictionary.com’s Fifth Grade Homework Help Cheat Sheet

    Fifth grade is typically the final year of grade school, which means the lessons get cranked up a notch in preparation for middle school and beyond. Teachers ask students to delve deeper into subject matter, stretch their skills, and show more independence. The work is challenging but intriguing as they explore new concepts and develop their opinions about them. Fifth grade is also the year …

  5. 7 Word Games And Activities To Do With Your Elf On The Shelf

    The holiday season has finally arrived, which means it’s time for the Elf On The Shelf to make its triumphant return! Whether you’re a seasoned elf parent, or this is your very first year introducing the concept, chances are you’re looking for some creative elf activities to keep your kids entertained all December long. While there are certainly plenty of ways for the Elf On …

  6. How Authors Named Their Famous Characters

    What’s in a name? A lot, apparently! It’s no secret that writers agonize over what to name their characters. It’s for good reason: a name can make or break how audiences remember a character. It has the potential to be truly iconic. Many authors can’t even begin to write until they’ve given each and every person in their book a name. So how does one …

  7. Are The Spells In Harry Potter Real Words?

    There are dozens of spells that are used by the characters in Harry Potter’s fictional world of wizardry. But are any of them real words? What language are the spells in Harry Potter? The names of many of the spells are indeed derived from other languages, especially Latin. However, for the most part, they aren’t proper words. Author J.K. Rowling created words that resemble other …

  8. How Do I Use Emoji In Education?

    Some young people may find it hard to believe, but there was once a world without emoji (the plural can be either emoji or emojis—take your pick). These bright, little, expressive images didn’t come into existence until 1999, when the first ones were created by Japanese artist Shigetaka Kurita. Today, there are more than 3,000 emoji … and counting. They add a pop of personality to …

  9. 6 punctuation marks you might be using incorrectly

  10. How Young People Are Redefining Sexuality And Romantic Attraction

    by Rory Gory Pansexual, skoliosexual, asexual biromantic. How young queer people are identifying their sexual and romantic orientations is expanding—as is the language they use to do it. More than 1 in 5 LGBTQ youth use words other than lesbian, gay, and bisexual to describe their sexualities, according to a new report based on findings from The Trevor Project’s National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental …

  11. “Daylight Savings Time” And Commonly Mixed-Up Words And Phrases

    Every March and November, most Americans change their clocks to keep up with the switch into or out of daylight-saving time. This practice of advancing the clocks ahead an hour is called daylight-saving time. But, because daylight savings time is used so frequently, the term is also considered acceptable. Daylight-saving time means that since the clock is moved ahead one hour, you get one more …

  12. What Does It Mean To Be Asexual?

    by Rory GoryIn a recent study, “Diversity of Youth Sexual Orientation,” The Trevor Project found that one in five LGBTQ youth are using different words to describe their sexual and romantic identities and orientations, including terms like asexual and aromantic. (Read more about this study and those new words here.) But, there are many persistent and painful myths and misunderstandings surrounding sexual orientation, romantic attraction, …