Use the 5 types of context clues for emerging vocabulary | Mentoring in the Middle

Use the 5 types of context clues for emerging vocabulary

"I don't know what that word meant so I just skipped over it."

"Can you pronounce it?  


Okay, how about any hints as to its meaning?  Do you see any context clues?  It's okay if you can't pronounce it and it's even okay if you don't know the specific meaning of the word, as long as you get the gist of it.  That's key."

context clues notebook pages with colored pencils
Learning how to use clues to determine the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary seems like it should be pretty easy.  I mean, middle-grade authors often provide context clues right in the sentence.  But children who don't understand the process often don't know what to look for to help themselves out.  

This is why teaching them the specific context clues techniques helps them so much.  The more metacognitively aware our students are, the more they assimilate this kind of clue-searching into their daily reading.

Teach them IDEAS for context clues

Teach your students this acronym and watch them start to make sense of emerging vocabulary.

Grab this FREE interactive notebook page, a one-page context clues reference worksheet that uses IDEAS.  Your students can use it as a resource all year long!

Here's a resource that lets them color while they practice.

"This was great practice while changing up the method in which we normally use context clues. Such a good resource for a filler day or a sub day."

"Love this resource! My students really enjoyed this activity. Definitely recommend."

context clues coloring page activity with crayons

There's also a fun free game I recently found called Context Clues Climber that you might want to try with your students!

Other resources that focus on context clues:

a young girl working on a laptop on a context clues activity
purple picture of outer space for A Wrinkle in Time Boom cards activitystars in the sky for A Wrinkle in Time context clues google activity    

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