Posted by: nancyisanders | December 15, 2014

Writing Opportunity: The Glossary

For the nonfiction manuscript we’re writing for Kaeden, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and write the glossary!

Adding a glossary to a story geared for second grade elementary kids automatically supports the Common Core. Here’s the specific standard it supports:

Know and use various text features (e.g., captions, bold print, subheadings, glossaries, indexes, electronic menus, icons) to locate key facts or information in a text efficiently.

Most of Kaeden’s nonfiction books have a glossary, so we should put one in ours, too.

My mentor text, THE BIRDFEEDER, doesn’t show a glossary in its google preview, so I found a similar one that does. Click on FIESTA and look at the google preview if you’re doing one at this level. Otherwise, check your own mentor text or a book similar to it to follow as a guide.

To make my glossary, I chose 4 words in my manuscript that kids might not know. You can choose 2 to 4 words to explain further in your glossary, too.

First I highlighted these words in the actual text of the story.

Next I listed them alphabetically in my glossary on page 15 of my book.

Then I looked up each word online in the Merriam-Webster free online dictionary. Why did I use this dictionary? Mostly because when I was working on early readers with a different publisher these last couple of years, that was the publisher’s go-to dictionary of choice. So I used it for now until I find what Kaeden Book prefers if they offer me a contract to write more of these books.

Another reason I chose to use this dictionary as a reference for my own glossary that I’m making is because most words have a feature under their full definition that you can click on to see the definition for kids. I always like to see how other people word things for kids. It helps me keep my own writing kid-friendly.

After I looked at both definitions (the regular one and the kid-friendly one) then I wrote each word’s definition in my own words on my manuscript. It’s always best to do this so you don’t have to mess with the copyright infringements of dictionaries you use. Plus, it’s just good practice learning how to put things in your own words like this.

So if you haven’t yet done so, go ahead and write your Glossary!


  1. Thank you, Nancy. You don’t miss a thing, and sharing it with us.

  2. Wonderful information, Nancy. 🙂

  3. Glad this is helpful, Mona and Tracy!

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