Activities for context clues

Yuna Lesca
Yuna LescaTeacher um Saint Joseph's Academy
I. Objectives:
At the end of the lesson, the students must be able to do the following with at least 75% success.
        Match, locate and use context clues to improve comprehension and vocabulary development.
        Identify the type and explain context clues used in a sentence after a group discussion.
        Exhibit good behavior while working with classmates.

II. Subject Matter:
Using Context Clues
Reference: S. A. Stahl and W.E. Nagy, Teaching Word Meanings. Routledge, 2006 pp 54-59
Materials: Visual aids

III. Procedure:
        A. Review:    Vocabulary Words
                      Read out a sentence and let the students choose the strips of words to stick on the
                      board to match the meaning.
Vocabulary:

AFFIRMATION - a positive assertion

I get annoyed by blogs whose comments boxes are nothing but mutual _________.

BENEVOLENT - marked by or suggestive of kindness

He was a ___________person, though a stranger, he returned my lost purse with its contents intact.

CAJOLE - to convince with flattery or promises

The father had __________ his son into doing his homework by promising he would take him to a baseball game
afterwards.

HOAX - to trick into believing as genuine something false and often preposterous

The UFO sighting was announced to be a __________ to divert attention to the government’s military testing.

OSTENTATIOUS – an act of being flashy or pretension

He could not prove that the Mayor with ________ personality was a con man.


       B. Motivation:
              Ask the students if they have encountered an unfamiliar word while reading. What did they do to
       understand the unfamiliar word? Tell the students that they will learn how to understand these words
       without relying too much on the dictionary or the internet.

       C. Presentation:
                1. Show the word FLEEGLE on the board. Ask volunteers to define it. When no one is able
       to state the meaning, discuss strategies for discovering the definition.

               2. Tell the students that one way to figure out the meaning of an unfamiliar word is to use context
       clues. Sometimes, clues to the meanings of words are hidden in other near-by words or phrases.
3. Show the following sentence on the board: The students could not fit in the FLEEGLE because the ten-
       passenger van was already filled with bags. Point out the word FLEEGLE in the sentence.

       4. Ask the group to guess the meaning of FLEEGLE now that they’ve seen it used in a sentence. When a
       student responds with 10-PASSENGER VAN, ask him or her to come forward and underline the clue from
       the sentence.

       5. Try another! Show TWIP on the board. Speculate about the meaning.

       6. Show this sentence on the board: I don’t like to drink TWIP because of its bitter taste.

       7. Speculate again about the meaning, based on the clues in the sentence. Sometimes sentences
       contain clues to unknown words even if the meaning is not stated directly.

       8. Discuss the examples below:

Context Clue #1: Definition/Restatement
The meaning of the vocabulary word is in the sentence itself, usually following the vocabulary word.
      Ex: Definition or Restatement
      Jack's duplicity or crafty dishonesty – caused him to steal his coworker's pensions by directing their money
      into another account.

Context Clue #2: Synonym
The sentence uses a similar word to help explain the meaning of the vocabulary word.
       Ex: Synonym
       For the team’s deceitfulness, the baseball coach punished their duplicity after admitting to use steroids to
       boost their batting speed.

Context Clue #3: Antonym /Opposite/Contrast
The sentence uses a word with an opposite definition to give the meaning of the vocabulary word. These sentences
usually have negative discourse connectives or what we conjunctions.
        Antonym/Opposite/Contrast
        It was Faye’s duplicity that caused Jay to break up with her. Had she been honest, he wouldn't have felt the
        need.

Context Clue #4: Examples/General Information/Explanation
This type of context clue uses examples or explanations to help the reader infer the meaning of the vocabulary
word.
        Example or Explanation
        I was shocked at her duplicity when she stole my diamond earrings, sold them on eBay and lied to me
        about it the whole time.


Examples (batch #2)

Definition or Restatement
       The village was desolate, most of the residents dead or moved, but the crops remained untouched.
                unoccupied             unhappy                    unlawful                unpredictable
Synonym
       Ballet students appear so lithe; they are so limber and flexible.
                clumsy         fast                       light                   nimble
Antonym/Opposite/Contrast
      The gentleman was portly, but his wife was thin.
             fat           sexy             short                  tall


Example or Explanation/Gen Info
     People with phobias, such as being scared of heights, water, or confined spaces are difficult to cure.
            Allure of something                      Bored of something
            Fear of something                        Excited of something


Examples (Batch #3): Determine the write word from the choices and what kind of context clue was used.

Whether you call him a troglodyte, Neanderthal, or barbarian, I don’t care. Just don’t call him on my phone.
      bum                     caveman                       king                      soldier

The Mayor praised the town but the Governor deprecated it.
      appreciated           belittled                     collaborated                     defecated

The puppy was a complete nuisance. It was a total bother and an annoyance to all the neighbors.
      extravagance          grievance               hindrance             inconvenience

Legumes such as peas and beans produce pods.
     food                   fruits                        leaves                  vegetables


D. Application: Let the students answer the exercises on the visuals.

Enrichment Activity:             R – Restatement/Def.              E – example/Gen. info
                                 S – Synonym                       A – Antonym/Contrast


A = He seemed quite free and easy with a few friends, but at large parties he was quite inhibited.
      Appeased               Controlled              Freed                    Hurried

D or R = Embassies typically follow well-established protocols or accepted procedures for seating guests at a
       government dinner.
       A set of chairs        A set of people         A set of places       A set of rules

E = Most condiments such as pepper, mustard and catsup, are used to improve the flavor of foods.

        seasoning                compliments              recipe           ingredient

A = Some city dwellers are affluent while some live in poverty.
      fluent                   smooth                 happy               rich


D or R = The factory supervisor is going to be inspecting soon, this is a careful and critical checking of all of the
meats processed each day.
       Drilling              Drafting                       Eliminating               Examining
A = The boxes weren't exactly heavy, just cumbersome, unlike the easy-to-carry bags with handles.
      hard to handle                  hard to hide        hard to store           hard to transfer

E = The builder decided that the house could be built on a number of sites, for instance, along a wooded path,
near the ocean, or atop a mountain.
        examples              place                   scenery                website

D or R = Gary Paulsen writes books that appeal, or are of particular interest, to young adult readers.
       attract               appease                entertain                 explain

D or R = The soft, bouncy surface cushioned his landing.
       A soft pillow A seat to carry       Lessen the effect                  Nonstop bouncing


D or R = The salesman obviously wanted to haggle, so we offered a lower price
       bargain              earn           handle         charge


IV. Evaluation:
         Group the students into 5, give the students 5 minutes and let each group answer 2 items on the visual aids,
let the students appoint a leader and then afterwards let them defend their answers.

Exercises: Determine the type of context clues used on the sentences.

1. Hank was an opportunist, taking benefit of every possible angle. - Restatement
2. My mother was candid, truthfully sharing her ideas on the subject. - Restatement
3. The stupendous actor attracted everyone’s attention because he was so excellent. - Synonym
4. President Miller’s policies changed society, catalysts for improved living around the country. – Gen. Info.
5. Peter was likely to be late, and apt to forget necessary supplies as well. – R or S
6. Exchanging screen names is almost like trading phone numbers. - Synonym
7. The preacher’s charm and charisma made him attractive to both young and old. -Synonym
8. The yellow cookie had a bite out of it, looking like nothing so much as a crumbly crescent moon. – Gen. Info
9. Elizabeth had the perfect trifecta of attributes: power, beauty and money. - Example
10. Tell me accurately where you were last night and precisely what were you doing? -Synonym

Put the letter of the matching definition/meaning on each line:
I       precisely               a. Outstanding
B       opportunist             b. One who takes advantage
J       charisma                c. Group of three
F       catalysts               d. Undoubtedly
K       candid                  e. Trading one for another
A       stupendous              f. Agent of change
G       apt                     g. Likely
H       crescent                h. Shape like a portion of a circle
E       exchanging              i. Exactly
C       trifecta                j. Extremely attractive quality
                                k. Honest

V. Assignment
        Choose two words from the evaluation visual aids word list and then write sentences using the four types of
context clues.

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Activities for context clues

  • 1. I. Objectives: At the end of the lesson, the students must be able to do the following with at least 75% success. Match, locate and use context clues to improve comprehension and vocabulary development. Identify the type and explain context clues used in a sentence after a group discussion. Exhibit good behavior while working with classmates. II. Subject Matter: Using Context Clues Reference: S. A. Stahl and W.E. Nagy, Teaching Word Meanings. Routledge, 2006 pp 54-59 Materials: Visual aids III. Procedure: A. Review: Vocabulary Words Read out a sentence and let the students choose the strips of words to stick on the board to match the meaning. Vocabulary: AFFIRMATION - a positive assertion I get annoyed by blogs whose comments boxes are nothing but mutual _________. BENEVOLENT - marked by or suggestive of kindness He was a ___________person, though a stranger, he returned my lost purse with its contents intact. CAJOLE - to convince with flattery or promises The father had __________ his son into doing his homework by promising he would take him to a baseball game afterwards. HOAX - to trick into believing as genuine something false and often preposterous The UFO sighting was announced to be a __________ to divert attention to the government’s military testing. OSTENTATIOUS – an act of being flashy or pretension He could not prove that the Mayor with ________ personality was a con man. B. Motivation: Ask the students if they have encountered an unfamiliar word while reading. What did they do to understand the unfamiliar word? Tell the students that they will learn how to understand these words without relying too much on the dictionary or the internet. C. Presentation: 1. Show the word FLEEGLE on the board. Ask volunteers to define it. When no one is able to state the meaning, discuss strategies for discovering the definition. 2. Tell the students that one way to figure out the meaning of an unfamiliar word is to use context clues. Sometimes, clues to the meanings of words are hidden in other near-by words or phrases.
  • 2. 3. Show the following sentence on the board: The students could not fit in the FLEEGLE because the ten- passenger van was already filled with bags. Point out the word FLEEGLE in the sentence. 4. Ask the group to guess the meaning of FLEEGLE now that they’ve seen it used in a sentence. When a student responds with 10-PASSENGER VAN, ask him or her to come forward and underline the clue from the sentence. 5. Try another! Show TWIP on the board. Speculate about the meaning. 6. Show this sentence on the board: I don’t like to drink TWIP because of its bitter taste. 7. Speculate again about the meaning, based on the clues in the sentence. Sometimes sentences contain clues to unknown words even if the meaning is not stated directly. 8. Discuss the examples below: Context Clue #1: Definition/Restatement The meaning of the vocabulary word is in the sentence itself, usually following the vocabulary word. Ex: Definition or Restatement Jack's duplicity or crafty dishonesty – caused him to steal his coworker's pensions by directing their money into another account. Context Clue #2: Synonym The sentence uses a similar word to help explain the meaning of the vocabulary word. Ex: Synonym For the team’s deceitfulness, the baseball coach punished their duplicity after admitting to use steroids to boost their batting speed. Context Clue #3: Antonym /Opposite/Contrast The sentence uses a word with an opposite definition to give the meaning of the vocabulary word. These sentences usually have negative discourse connectives or what we conjunctions. Antonym/Opposite/Contrast It was Faye’s duplicity that caused Jay to break up with her. Had she been honest, he wouldn't have felt the need. Context Clue #4: Examples/General Information/Explanation This type of context clue uses examples or explanations to help the reader infer the meaning of the vocabulary word. Example or Explanation I was shocked at her duplicity when she stole my diamond earrings, sold them on eBay and lied to me about it the whole time. Examples (batch #2) Definition or Restatement The village was desolate, most of the residents dead or moved, but the crops remained untouched. unoccupied unhappy unlawful unpredictable Synonym Ballet students appear so lithe; they are so limber and flexible. clumsy fast light nimble
  • 3. Antonym/Opposite/Contrast The gentleman was portly, but his wife was thin. fat sexy short tall Example or Explanation/Gen Info People with phobias, such as being scared of heights, water, or confined spaces are difficult to cure. Allure of something Bored of something Fear of something Excited of something Examples (Batch #3): Determine the write word from the choices and what kind of context clue was used. Whether you call him a troglodyte, Neanderthal, or barbarian, I don’t care. Just don’t call him on my phone. bum caveman king soldier The Mayor praised the town but the Governor deprecated it. appreciated belittled collaborated defecated The puppy was a complete nuisance. It was a total bother and an annoyance to all the neighbors. extravagance grievance hindrance inconvenience Legumes such as peas and beans produce pods. food fruits leaves vegetables D. Application: Let the students answer the exercises on the visuals. Enrichment Activity: R – Restatement/Def. E – example/Gen. info S – Synonym A – Antonym/Contrast A = He seemed quite free and easy with a few friends, but at large parties he was quite inhibited. Appeased Controlled Freed Hurried D or R = Embassies typically follow well-established protocols or accepted procedures for seating guests at a government dinner. A set of chairs A set of people A set of places A set of rules E = Most condiments such as pepper, mustard and catsup, are used to improve the flavor of foods. seasoning compliments recipe ingredient A = Some city dwellers are affluent while some live in poverty. fluent smooth happy rich D or R = The factory supervisor is going to be inspecting soon, this is a careful and critical checking of all of the meats processed each day. Drilling Drafting Eliminating Examining
  • 4. A = The boxes weren't exactly heavy, just cumbersome, unlike the easy-to-carry bags with handles. hard to handle hard to hide hard to store hard to transfer E = The builder decided that the house could be built on a number of sites, for instance, along a wooded path, near the ocean, or atop a mountain. examples place scenery website D or R = Gary Paulsen writes books that appeal, or are of particular interest, to young adult readers. attract appease entertain explain D or R = The soft, bouncy surface cushioned his landing. A soft pillow A seat to carry Lessen the effect Nonstop bouncing D or R = The salesman obviously wanted to haggle, so we offered a lower price bargain earn handle charge IV. Evaluation: Group the students into 5, give the students 5 minutes and let each group answer 2 items on the visual aids, let the students appoint a leader and then afterwards let them defend their answers. Exercises: Determine the type of context clues used on the sentences. 1. Hank was an opportunist, taking benefit of every possible angle. - Restatement 2. My mother was candid, truthfully sharing her ideas on the subject. - Restatement 3. The stupendous actor attracted everyone’s attention because he was so excellent. - Synonym 4. President Miller’s policies changed society, catalysts for improved living around the country. – Gen. Info. 5. Peter was likely to be late, and apt to forget necessary supplies as well. – R or S 6. Exchanging screen names is almost like trading phone numbers. - Synonym 7. The preacher’s charm and charisma made him attractive to both young and old. -Synonym 8. The yellow cookie had a bite out of it, looking like nothing so much as a crumbly crescent moon. – Gen. Info 9. Elizabeth had the perfect trifecta of attributes: power, beauty and money. - Example 10. Tell me accurately where you were last night and precisely what were you doing? -Synonym Put the letter of the matching definition/meaning on each line: I precisely a. Outstanding B opportunist b. One who takes advantage J charisma c. Group of three F catalysts d. Undoubtedly K candid e. Trading one for another A stupendous f. Agent of change G apt g. Likely H crescent h. Shape like a portion of a circle E exchanging i. Exactly C trifecta j. Extremely attractive quality k. Honest V. Assignment Choose two words from the evaluation visual aids word list and then write sentences using the four types of context clues.