Language Arts Resources

There are probably more fillable gaps in anyone's language arts knowledge than any other area of study. Language is constantly evolving, changing its face and sometimes even its innards to accommodate the dictates of the Academy and society. Who can keep up with it all? who even has enough foundational knowledge to know what all those changes are?

Keeping up with all the trends isn't necessarily the point, though. The ultimate aim of all language arts instruction is communication: for the student to be capable of communicating, and able to be communicated to. As far as that is accomplished, language arts education has been successful; that doesn't mean there isn't always room for improvement.

It also doesn't mean that there aren't reference works you should keep around at all times. Everyone needs a good dictionary; when you encounter words you know, how else are you going to know what they mean? You could just head to the Internet, but there's so much misinformation there, having a hard copy of Webster's is a much safer (and more reliable) bet.

A compact but comprehensive thesaurus is also important. Here's a word of advice: don't overuse it. Roget's Thesaurus has lots of words you've never heard of, and while sometimes they turn out to be exactly the word you're looking for, it's not a good idea to throw million dollar words into your writing if you're unfamiliar with them.

The two best uses for a thesaurus: using it to remember a word you already know, or scanning it to build your vocabulary when you aren't writing. A good cook doesn't use spices she's never heard of just to make food interesting, and a good writer doesn't throw around strange verbiage just to make people think he's smart, or because he's already overused a simpler term.

Much of what you'll find here is designed to help with spelling, expand vocabulary, or assist writing. Everyone has particular strengths and weaknesses, and you'll have to ultimately decide what your students (or you) need. For specific elements of the language arts (grammar, rhetoric, phonics, etc.) take a look at our subject-specific resource sections; the books here are pretty broad and reference-oriented.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
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38 Items found Print
Active Filters: Hardcover
American Heritage Desk Dictionary
4th edition from Houghton Mifflin
for 7th-Adult
in Dictionaries (Location: I-REF)
$14.95
American Heritage Student Thesaurus
by Editors of the American Heritage Dictionaries
Reprint from Houghton Mifflin
for 7th-12th grade
in Thesauruses (Location: Reference)
$18.95
Children's First Encyclopedia
by Neil Morris
from Backpack Books
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Encyclopedias (Location: P3D)
$7.00 (1 in stock)
DK First Encyclopedia
by Anita Ganeri & Chris Oxlade
from DK Publishing
for 1st-3rd grade
in Encyclopedias (Location: P3D)
$10.00 (1 in stock)
DK Ultimate Visual Dictionary
from DK Publishing
for 4th-8th grade
in Dictionaries (Location: I-REF)
$12.00 (1 in stock)
EyeLike Shapes
from Play Bac
for Preschool-2nd grade
$6.00 (1 in stock)
First Encyclopedia of Our World
from Usborne
for Preschool-3rd grade
in Encyclopedias (Location: P3D)
$7.00 (1 in stock)
Harvey's Elementary Grammar and Composition
Harvey's Language Course
by Thos. W. Harvey
from Mott Media
for 4th-8th- grade
in Grammar Reference (Location: D4E-GRA)
$15.00
Harvey's Revised English Grammar
Harvey's Language Course
by Thos. W. Harvey
from Mott Media
for 4th-8th grade
in Grammar Reference (Location: D4E-GRA)
$17.50
Homophones and Homographs
by James B. Hobbs
3rd edition from McFarland & Co.
for 8th-12th grade
in Grammar Reference (Location: D4E-GRA)
$9.00 (1 in stock)
How to Develop a Brilliant Memory Week by Week
by Dominic O'Brien
from Duncan Baird
for 9th-Adult
$9.95
Kingfisher Children's Encyclopedia
by Jennifer Justice, ed.
from Kingfisher
for 1st-6th grade
in Encyclopedias (Location: P3D)
$20.00 (1 in stock)
Kingfisher First Dictionary
by John Grisewood
from Kingfisher
for Preschool- 3rd Grade
in Dictionaries (Location: I-REF)
$7.00 (1 in stock)
Kingfisher First Encyclopedia
by Ruth Thomson and Anne Civardi
from Kingfisher
for Nursery-Kindergarten
in Encyclopedias (Location: P3D)
$7.50 (2 in stock)
Kingfisher Illustrated Thesaurus
by George Beal
from Kingfisher
for 4th-8th grade
in Thesauruses (Location: Reference)
$9.00 (1 in stock)
Kingfisher Young World Encyclopedia
by Larousse
from Larousse
for 4th-6th grade
in Encyclopedias (Location: P3D)
$15.00 (1 in stock)
L is for Lollygag
from Chronicle Books
for 1st-4th grade
in Dictionaries (Location: I-REF)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
Macmillan Visual Dictionary
1st edition from Macmillan
for 3rd-9th grade
in Dictionaries (Location: I-REF)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
Memory Mechanics
by Gary DeMar
from American Vision Press
for 9th grade-adult
$14.95
Merriam-Webster Children's Dictionary
from DK Children
for 2nd-4th grade
in Dictionaries (Location: I-REF)
Merriam-Webster School Dictionary
Revised from Merriam-Webster
for 8th-12th grade
in Dictionaries (Location: I-REF)
$12.00 (2 in stock)
Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary
11th edition from Merriam-Webster
for 9th-Adult
in Dictionaries (Location: I-REF)
$22.95 $16.00 (1 in stock)
Merriam-Webster's Primary Dictionary
from Merriam-Webster
for 1st-5th grade
in Dictionaries (Location: I-REF)
$9.00 (1 in stock)
Old Hat New Hat
Bright & Early Books
by Jan Berenstain, Stan Berenstain
from Random House Books for Young Readers
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Beginner Books (Location: O4D-EAR)
$8.49
Richard Scarry's ABC Word Book
by Richard Scarry
from Sterling Publishing Co.
for Preschool- 3rd Grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$11.01
Richard Scarry's Busy, Busy Town
by Richard Scarry
from Golden Books
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$13.59
Richard Scarry's Cars and Trucks and Things That Go
by Richard Scarry
from Golden Books
for Nursery-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$13.59
Roget's International Thesaurus
by Rogets International
from Thomas Crowell
for 7th-Adult
in Thesauruses (Location: Reference)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Roget's International Thesaurus
by Barbara Ann Kipfer
7th edition from Collins
for 7th-Adult
in Thesauruses (Location: Reference)
$22.95
Roget's International Thesaurus
by Barbara Ann Kipfer
7th edition from Collins
for 7th-Adult
in Thesauruses (Location: Reference)
$10.00 (1 in stock)
Scholastic Children's Dictionary
by Scholastic
Revised from Scholastic Inc.
for 4th-6th grade
in Dictionaries (Location: I-REF)
$9.50 (2 in stock)
Scholastic Children's Dictionary
by Scholastic Inc.
Revised from Scholastic Inc.
for 2nd-4th grade
in Dictionaries (Location: I-REF)
$11.00 (2 in stock)
Scholastic Children's Encyclopedia
by Scholastic
from Scholastic Inc.
for 4th-6th grade
in Encyclopedias (Location: P3D)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
Scholastic First Dictionary
by Judith Levey
from Scholastic Inc.
for Preschool- 3rd Grade
in Dictionaries (Location: I-REF)
$7.50 (1 in stock)
Student Dictionary
from Houghton Mifflin
for 4th-8th grade
in Dictionaries (Location: I-REF)
$12.00 (2 in stock)
Student Dictionary
from Houghton Mifflin
for 4th-8th grade
in Dictionaries (Location: I-REF)
$19.95 $12.00 (1 in stock)
Use the Right Word
by S. I. Hayakawa
1st edition from Reader's Digest
for 9th-Adult
in Thesauruses (Location: Reference)
$10.00 (1 in stock)
What Do People Do All Day?
by Richard Scarry
from Random House
Richard Scarry Picture Book for K-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$13.59