Thursday, February 21, 2013

Friday Freebie- Inferencing using Context Clues

Hey there!

I just wanted to share something that I made this week while we were working on some non-fiction reading. We were working on using context clues for words that we come across and we don't know the meaning.  At this age, some kids will stop and try to figure out the words, while others will just skip right over it and keep reading, possibly losing some of the meaning of what they are reading.

I wanted to give them a strategy that they could use when they come across one of those words that they are unsure about.  Here it is!

Students fill in the word that they don't know.  Sometimes authors give the meaning of the word within the sentence and sometimes they don't.  So, they look for clues to help them.  They use clues to try to infer the meaning from the passage.  

These clues could include:
the meaning in parentheses
the meaning after a comma
the meaning in context
the meaning by reading the sentence before or after the word

Sometimes, there are no clues.  Then they write none.

They copy the sentence from the passage (just so they can see it written correctly in context).  If they don't feel that they have inferred the correct meaning, they can then look it up in the dictionary and write the correct meaning under that column.  Then, they can illustrate it (if it's possible) to help them remember the meaning.

Then, once the chart is full, they can choose a word that they would like to make a poster about.  They write the word, the sentence from the passage, and then create their own sentence.  They can illustrate it in the big box, or illustrate the sentence if the word is too hard to illustrate.

We worked on this for an entire reading segment, together, and it was a looooong process.  But, my students readily admitted to many words they didn't know (which actually surprised me- that they admitted it AND some of the words I thought they would know but they didn't).  It broke up some of the meaning of the article we were reading having to stop for each word, but wouldn't it have broken up the meaning if they didn't know what the words meant???  So, we'll finish going through the words they don't know, and then we'll reread the article for fluency and comprehension.  Hopefully, by then, it will make a ton of sense to them!!

To download, click the first page at the top or here.

I hope you find this helpful!!  If you download it, let me know what you think!  I hope I explained it well enough!  (Sometimes things in my head don't makes sense when they come out!)  ;O)


  1. I really like the poster page you created - I can't wait to use it - I am always shocked by the words kids will ask me about in reading groups or shared reading.

    Looking From Third to Fourth

  2. This is wonderful! It will definitely go into my rotation to use with my students! Thanks!!

    Reading Toward the Stars

  3. Thank you for sharing this freebie on TBA. I will definitely use this with my fourth graders. I am now following you.

  4. I just love you two! Thanks for your super sweet comment on my blog :) Your freebie is fabulous, it almost makes me wish I taught an older grade (weeeell, almost!) Thanks for sharing!

    Love and hugs,


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