Using Context Clues
In this activity, students write down any unfamiliar words on a post-it note that they encounter while reading. On a second post-it note, they write down clues from the text to help them define the word. Based on this information, they are able to make a prediction. Providing a visual or an anchor chart, such as the one pictured above, allows students to make references as they answer questions, expand ideas and become more familiar with using context clues to deepen their understanding of the text.
Science Example - "Out of this World Context Clues"
This activity is designed to help students learn to use context clues to figure out the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary as they learn about the different planets. After the lesson, students are able to play the role of an astronaut exploring a new planet. They encounter aliens who speak a language similar to English, but with some very different words. The "Context Clues Multiple Choice Cards" contain 4 short stories. Each story contains a nonsense-word from the "alien language." Students need to figure out (based on the context of the story) the meaning of the alien word.
Social Studies Example:
In this activity, students read a short passage on the Hopi Culture. They are able to use context clues to define unknown words. Students can also practice using different context clues as they read additional articles that are related to Social Studies.