In this lesson, you will use knowledge of context clues to decode and understand new words during reading in order to become better independent readers.
(Standard 1.1.5. C)
depreciate apprehensive frugal nuptials Mario was apprehensive. Roland was so frugal. Most things depreciate. Nuptials are different in other countries. Mario was apprehensive , or fearful, of the upcoming test. Roland was so frugal that he refused to give his sons money. In fact, he insisted that they study by the light of only one lamp. While houses and antiques often increase in value, cars and computers usually depreciate . Nuptials (weddings) are different in other countries.
When a reader encounters an unfamiliar word, he/she must use all of the clues around the word to figure it out. These are the “context” clues.
Clue Type 1
Mario was apprehensive , or fearful, of the upcoming test.
The first class to secede , or break away, from the school group was the third grade class.
The fear of the number 13 , or triskaidekaphobia, is a common phobia.
Clue Type 2
The indigenous (native) animals of this area are at risk due to the new construction.
The maestro (conductor) of the St. Louis Orchestra entered the concert hall.
The sick man drank the elixir (medication) and almost instantly became better!
Clue Type 3
Jim was happy being a mediocre student, unlike his brother who needed to be extraordinary.
Most people are skeptical , but I believe that there is life in outer space.
The stench of dead fish was replaced by the sweet aroma of lilacs.
Clue Type 4
Roland was so frugal that he refused to give his sons money. In fact, he insisted that they study by the light of only one lamp.
Sam did such an exemplary job of fixing his father’s car that it ran better than it when it was brand new!
The boys meandered along the path all afternoon, enjoying the first day of summer vacation.
Context of the Text Sometimes the reader must play detective, putting together clues from the surrounding sentences and making an intelligent “guess” as to the definition of a word.
What if there are no context clues?
Guess at the meaning!
Use a dictionary!
Putting it all together. Use your context clues to figure out the meanings of words in larger paragraphs.
Look at your word card and definition. Write an original sentence that tells the meaning of the word as a context clue. Exchange the card with a partner and see if he/she can guess the word. I will choose some sentences/cards to share with the whole class.