Context Clues

Teaching Context Clues Strategy

  • LOOK before, at, and after the word.
  • REASON - connect what you know with what the author has written.
  • PREDICT a possible meaning.
  • RESOLVE or REDO - Decide if you know enough, should try again, or consult an expert or reference.

Introduce this strategy through teacher modeling, group work, and discussion. To prepare, select a passage and target a word or words for discussion. Prepare a transparency by typing a passage, or photocopying the passage and putting masking tape over the target word.

After students become familiar with using a contextual process, student teams can lead the lesson. Working with the teacher, they can choose two words a week they think would be unfamiliar to the group and model the process with the first word and lead the discussion on the second.

From: Camille Blachowicz and Peter Fisher, Teaching Vocabulary in All Classrooms. 2nd edition. P.27

Downloadable Resources:

Context Clue Definitions and Examples handout