The skill of using context clues when approaching unfamiliar words is an essential key to becoming a strong reader. The GrammarSong video “Context Clues” not only provides examples of how a reader can use context clues, but it defines the types of context clues good readers look for: definitions, examples, synonyms, and antonyms. When teaching context clues, it is important to apply the skill to real literature and reading in the classroom. When teaching, I ask each student not only to use context clues, but to identify the type of context clue she/he specifically used when analyzing a new word.
Review Video & Follow These Instructional Guidelines
- Encourage your child to skip over an unfamiliar word when reading (if he or she can't sound it out) and to use context clues as a natural way of figuring out unfamiliar words.
- Extra Engagement: Practice using context clues in a real world way by using sticky notes to cover up words in big books or when participating in choral reading or smartboard activities.
- When reading, identify the type of context clue that you encounter when figuring out an unfamiliar word. Was the clue a definition, synonym, antonym, or an example?
- Play the GrammarSong activity “Context Clue Game (Intermediate)" to practice using context clues in a game-friendly format. The self-checking cards can be used with a game board, within a cooperative learning structure, or as a literacy center.
- Complete grammar sheet “Context Clues.” Identify whether the clue provided was a synonym, antonym, definition, or example.
- Complete grammar sheet “More Context Clues.” Identify whether the clue provided was a synonym, antonym, definition, or example.