For students and teachers

Resources for students and teachers

OED Appeal Youth Words

Submit a word to the OED
We’d like to hear about the unique expressions used by children and young people. Can you tell us about the words you use?

Myth-busting the OED
We expel some of the common myths and misconceptions about the OED and how words are added.

Using the OED in assignments

This guide highlights some of the ways the OED and Historical Thesaurus might benefit future assignments and essay-writing in GCSE and A Level studies (age 16+).

Exploring semantic change
Our new resource shows students of all ages how the OED can be used to trace a word’s meanings over time. Download our free ice-breaker activity, for a fun exploration of semantic change.

Women in Science lesson plans
With a version suitable for ages 10-12, and one for ages 16-18, this brand new cross-curricula lesson plan instigates exciting discussions about women in science, using the OED. It can easily be adapted for specific levels and topics.

OED Winter Worksheet
We’ve created this fun resource as a quick introduction to using the OED in schools. This printable PDF is great for practicing dictionary skills.

Using the OED in University

OED Birthday Words
Search for your own personal birthday word and find out if you’re a foodie or if you enjoy your bling. As a fun introduction to advanced searching, with OED birthday words you can learn more about searching details of entries and narrowing by date of entry, and discover the wealth of contextual information that OED gives for words.

Oxford University Press: Free Dictionary resources for children
Download a variety of free activities and worksheets (PDF) to be used alongside the OED, or Oxford children’s dictionaries.

Test your skills and expand your knowledge

Aspects of English: blog
Regular features, written by OED editors and specialist authors, exploring words and language—their history, development, and use.

External resources

Teachit: resources using the OED

Teachit English is a resource website for teachers, with over 23,465 pages of classroom worksheets, PowerPoint presentations and activities, written by and edited by professional secondary English teachers. Free members to the site can access thousands of PDFs, while subscribers can adapt the resources and download 25 teaching packs. Teachit English is part of AQA Education.

Key Stage 5 (Free PDF)

Tes: resources using the OED 

Tes is a global online community of educators, offering blog posts, industry news, and a variety of free and paid-for teaching resources.

Free resources from Tes (created by Oxford University Press):

Video & audio resources

Balderdash & Piffle: broadcast in 2007, this major BBC series looked at words and their stories, and appealed to viewers to help update the OED.

The Guardian- Inside the OED: this podcast (with text version) explains the processes involved with adding new words to the OED, and the impact modern technology has on the dictionary today.

The OED story

A long and rich history: as the last word on words for over a century, the OED‘s is a fascinating story of language and change.

Messrs Murray and Minor: learn the stories of the OED‘s first editor, Sir James Murray (1837–1915), and one of its most famous and unusual contributors, Dr William Minor (1834–1920), from the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

If you would like to share your experiences of using the OED in lessons, you can do this by emailing