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Context Clues

Compiled By: kristen_teach

Items to teach context clues

Context Clues
Posted by: Brittany

I am currently teaching context clues, and today I did a lesson that my kids loved. I wrote a sentence on a sentence strip with an unfamilar word. I called on students to tell me the meaning of the word and come up to the pocket chart and underline the clues. After we did that the students worked in their table groups. I gave each table a paragraph with an unfamilar word bolded and underlined. The paragraphs were laminated and the students got to use the markers on the paper. The students were again to tell me the meaning of the word and underline the clues. I have five table groups, therefore there were five different paragraphs. I know this may sound very simple, but all of the kids were very excited and asked if we were going to do more things like this in reading.
I am also going to play a game called Dunk It with the students. I have written paragraphs with one unfamilar word bolded and underlined on a game card. I did this in EXCEL. The students will be divided into two teams. One student will read the paragraph and tell the students what the unfamilar word means and the clues. If they get it right they get to throw a small ball into the trash can. The teams get points for correct answers and baskets.
I hope this helps.

Posted by: KT

This is fairly basic, but I use this with my 3rd graders. I put a phrase on the board such as:
Susie just got a new b_______
Then I ask the kids what it could be and list all the many possibilities on the board. Then I add more to the sentence:
Susie just got a new b_____ at the library.
Of course, then they all know it is book and eliminate the other words and we talk about the importance of reading the whole sentence or looking beyond the "tricky" words for context clues. Hope this helps!

Posted by: ILuvKaliNJay

Before reading- "word detectives"- give each student a magnifying glass (just to make it fun), tell them the page # and the word and have them search for the word. After everyone has found the word, have them read the entire sentence the word is in to try to figure out the meaning. This also helps with modeling how to use context clues. Another before reading idea is to introduce all of the vocab words, discuss meanings, and have students write a short prediction about the story using the vocab words. Guess the covered word is also a game kids like--Write out sentences using the vocab words in context to the story, cover the vocab word and have the kids guess what the vocab word is.

After reading- "Hop to It"- make a grid using a shower curtain liner and tape down vocab words in different squares. Read a definition or a sentence(omitting the correct word) and have students hop on the correct vocab word. Or you could have students toss a bean bag and whatever word that it lands on have them use in a sentence or define. Another idea- tape a vocab word to students' backs. Have other students give clues about the word and try to have each student guess which word is on his/her back. "Swat it"- post vocab words written on cute bug shapes on the board. Read the definition or a sentence with the word omitted and have the student swat the correct word.

Hope some of these ideas help!

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Posted by: love2read

This idea also goes along with teaching context clues. I say or write sentences with a nonsense word. Then I ask them to think of as many words as they can that could really fit. For example, "I like to drink nice cold chocolate humdingers." Humdingers could be milk, milkshake, etc. That one was pretty easy but you get the idea. I call this the Humdinger Game and they think it is a treat to play it. ;)
We also do some kind of shared reading every week: a poem, a big book, etc. Sometimes I use post-it notes to cover a word or I might circle it with wikki stix and then we do the same thing. What could that word be/mean? What makes sense and why?
Finally, during word study (spelling) they practice their words by putting them in sentences, looking them up in dictionaries, or writing synonyms/antonyms for some words.

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Posted by: Helen

The cloze materials that I have used are stories in which the students selects to correct words to complete the sentences so that the story continues to flow AND make sense. The story is written with blanks in place of certain key words and has words to choose from, usually on the border, to write into the blanks. there are usually teacher resource books created by grade level in teacher stores so you might look some over there.

cloze Activity
Posted by: Jen

A cloze activity consists of taking a reading passage on a child's level and leaving out every 5th word. There should be approximately 50 words in the passage. If a child can successfully fill in the blanks (no word bank is provided), then the child comprehends the concept or story that was read. A note to remember: the child does not need to put the exact word in the blank. If the word written means the same thing as the expected word and the context of the passage is not changed, the word is correct. This is a good activity to check for comprehension.

Our Guess the Covered Word
Posted by: KcK

I do "Guess the Covered Word" and the kids LOVE it!! I use my overhead projector and project it onto my dry erase board and many of my GTCW activities come from the Four Blocks books. It is a bit tedious to cover them with little post its, but once you get the hang of it, it is super easy! I have the kids set a goal of how many words they think they should be able to get.

I put it up and we read the piece sentence by sentence. I have the kids give me three guesses and a scribe records them on the board next to the piece. We learn to look at the space provided and the context of the sentence before we make any guesses. Then I uncover the first part of the word. You really should cover to the first vowel as one group (the onset) and then cover the rest of the word as the second group. After I uncover the first part, we see if any of our guesses would work. If they do, then the scribe writes it write on the board on the piece itself (if that makes sense, they are not writing on the overhead, but on the board which I projected it onto...I am confusing myself here!) and we move on to the next sentence. If none of the 3 guesses works, then they can come up with 2 more and we vote which one works best.

When we are done we read it again together and give a drumroll before I pull off the remaining post it. If the kids are correct, they get a point toward their goal. If they were not, we talk about it and work the reasoning together.

The whole lesson takes about 25-30 minutes when you used to it. The kids just love it and want to "play" all the time!!

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Posted by: Penny

I teach reading improvement and I feel one of my jobs is to help the kids read nonfiction texts more effectively. That's generally what I use textmapping for. (It could be used for other things, but I haven't tried it for fiction yet.) I use it as a strategy. It's a comprehension tool. It wouldn't be practical to use all the time, but when you want to make a point and show the kids "the big picture" in the text.

I've copied science and history textbook chapters and had the kids color code headings, subheadings and chunk the text underneath so they can see by a glance how much space was used for each section. We mark pictures, charts, graphs, and captions. Highlight vocab words in one color and context clues or definitions with another. We also mark any other text feature. This helps my kids notice the textfeatures. They usually skip over those things. We look at the scroll after it's color coded and talk about what is obviously more important and what the author wants them to notice. We then read, code the text and answer questions. The kids say all the marking and coding helps them a lot. It also does help them to see the big picture and the points the author wants them to notice. It helps them understand why textfeatures are important and need to be paid attention to.

I've done it with TAKS passages, too in preparation for the state test. It helps us feel like we're making progress on those test passages and is a lot better than flipping transparencies all around. The passages don't seem quite as endless when we can see the whole thing at once.

Basically I make one scroll for each small group. Of course, I run Read 180 and have Small Group rotations come up to me so it works easily for me. We spread the scroll out on the table or tape it to the board. When we do TAKS passages we tape it to the board and do the sidewriting by every paragraph when we work in Small Group.

In a regular class I would split the kids up in groups and demonstrate how to mark it up with a scroll taped to the board. Make sure they have a place to spread out the scroll. You can tell at a glance how much progress they've made and how well they understand the text.

Personally I love textmapping and my students say it does help them. The only disadvantage would be having the room to work on the scroll. The scrolls do get cumbersome at times.

Hoped this helped.

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Greek, Latin root words-large word cards
Posted by: Risa

I made some word cards using Greek and Latin roots, about 8 words per page. I highlighted the root and allowed for room beneath the word where students can write a sentence using the word in context. Below that I'm also posting a 1 page sheet of the same table with all of the roots defined. I suppose it's sort of a 'cheat sheet';) in case I forget what that root means.

As usual, if you find any errors I might have made, please feel free to let me know so I can correct the information.

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