Context Clues

by Hollie Griffith

on February 9, 2020

I just posted my Context Clues Hands-on Reading unit for second grade and I want to show you everything that is included.

  • Pinterest

This unit is designed to provide your students with a direct hands-on approach to model and practice using context clues to discover the meaning of unknown words. While direct instruction is important, this week long unit should only be used as a tool that leads to your year long discovery of words. All research points in the direction that vocabulary programs DO NOT work. That’s because the words are not meaningful and rote recognition is lost without purposeful use of words within diverse contexts.

This unit will guide your students to search for unknown words, discover words, and become strong readers! As the unit comes to an end, guide your students daily as they become word detectives throughout their daily lives, increasing vocabulary, increasing comprehension, and becoming life long learners and readers.

  • Pinterest

Day 1 – Day 1 begins with a mini-lesson and a PowerPoint presentation. I’m a strong believer in using concrete examples to introduce skills and strategies. Concrete examples give students the chance to make connections so they can eventually begin to think more abstractly. During this mini-lesson you write GET DOWN on the board. Then, give students a few minutes to discuss the meaning. Most of them will say that “get down” means to duck and get out of the way. After the discussion play the song Get Down on It by Kool and Gang. It’s impossible to play the song without dancing… so let your kids DANCE. You can find the song HERE! Have students listen to the song again and write some of the lyrics on the board. Help students come to the conclusion that “get down” in this song means to dance. Explain that they used context clues to discover a different meaning of the words GET DOWN! In this song “get down” represents having fun and dancing. Then… you can play the interactive PowerPoint presentation. During the presentation students get to practice using context clues to figure out the meaning of vocabulary words.  I’ve included an optional recording sheet.

  • Pinterest

Day 2 – Students work in teams! They look at pictures and sentences and use context clues to find the meaning of the underlined word. They use their clues to write their own definition of the word.

  • Pinterest

  • Pinterest

Day 3 – Students get to work with partners or individually to discover the meaning of made up silly words! My students always LOVE this activity.

  • Pinterest

Day 4 – There are a few options for this game…

Option 1 – Class Game

•Each child gets one card. One card has two sentences and another card has the matching homonym with pictures. Students must go around the classroom to find the person who is holding their matching card.
•Once students have used clues to make a match, they can switch cards and the class can play again.
•When you’re reading to end the game, have students pair up with their final partner. They can use the recording sheet to write the homonym, write the sentences, and illustrate each sentence.
•Each group of students can share their work with the class.

Option 2 – Partner Memory

Option 3 – Put the cards in a center/station. Let students work together to make matches. Or… print on white paper and let students glue their matches on construction paper.

  • Pinterest

Day 5 – Context Clues Task Cards (I always hang the task cards around the room!!)

  • Pinterest

And last but not least… a quick assessment!

  • Pinterest

You can find the unit HERE! HAVE A GREAT WEEK!






Find everything you need to streamline your phonics and fluency instruction.

Related posts


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HG Phonics Club
Find everything you need to streamline your phonics and fluency instruction.

Pin It on Pinterest