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Building Vocabulary Using Context Clues
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Building Vocabulary Using Context Clues

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  • 1. Chapter 3: Building Vocabulary: Using Context Clues Essential Reading Skills Third Edition Kathleen McWhorter
  • 2. What is Context?
    • Example: Tony noticed that the wallabies at the zoo looked like kangaroos .
    • Example: Many people have phobias, such as fear of heights, a fear of water, or a fear of confined spaces.
    What are wallabies? What is a phobia?
  • 3. Types of Context Clues
    • Definition Clues
    • Synonym Clues
    • Example Clues
    • Contrast Clues
    • Inference Clues
  • 4. Definition Clues
    • Writers define a word right after they use it.
    • They use words and phrases such as:
      • means
      • is
      • refers to
      • are called
  • 5. Example of Definition Clues
    • Corona refers to the outermost part of the sun’s atmosphere.
    Corona refers to the outermost part of the sun’s atmosphere . definition signal word new word What a corona?
  • 6. Synonym Clues
    • Writers provide a synonym or brief phrase to define the word or that is similar to the new word.
    • The synonym can appear in the same sentence, in an earlier sentence, or later sentence.
  • 7. Example #2 of Synonym Clues
    • Betsy took a break from teaching to serve in the Peace Core. Despite the hiatus , Betsy’s school was delighted to rehire her when she returned.
    Betsy took a break from teaching to serve in the Peace Core. Despite the hiatus , Betsy’s school was delighted to rehire her when she returned. What is a hiatus? new word synonym
  • 8. Example Clues
    • Writers often include examples to help explain a word.
    • Examples can be introduced with words such as: like, such as, for example, or including.
  • 9. Example of Example Clues
    • In the past month, we have had almost every type of precipitation , including rain , snow , sleet , and hail .
    In the past month, we have had almost every type of precipitation , including rain , snow , sleet , and hail . What is precipitation? example(s) new word signal word
  • 10. Contrast Clues
    • You can determine the meaning of an unknown word from an antonym — a word or phrase that has the opposite meaning.
    • Examples can be introduced with words such as but, though , and whereas .
  • 11. Example of Contrast Clues
    • Although Liz felt sad and depressed, most of the graduates were elated .
    What is elated? Although Liz felt sad and depressed , most of the graduates were elated . new word signal word contrast/antonym
  • 12. Inference Clues It's like asking yourself, "What is the author trying to say?".
    • Inference is used to figure out the meaning of an unknown word by using logic and reasoning skills .
  • 13. Example of Inference Clues
    • On hot, humid summer afternoons, I often feel languid .
    What is languid? On hot, humid summer afternoons , I often feel languid . new word clue words
  • 14. Try this one!
    • The quarterback sustained numerous injuries: a fractured wrist, two broken ribs, and a hip injury.
    What type of context clue is this?
    • Definition Clue?
    • Synonym Clue?
    • Example Clue?
    • Contrast Clue?
    • Inference Clue?
  • 15. Try this one!
    • The quarterback sustained numerous injuries: a fractured wrist, two broken ribs, and a hip injury.
    Inference!! Why? We can tell that the football player had many injuries since the author lists them . Another way to say this is “experienced” numerous injuries.
  • 16. So, remember…the first thing you should do when you don’t know a word is to look at the words around it for clues to unlock the meaning!!