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Differentiated Learning Pack

Context Clues - Grade 4

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Context Clues - Grade 4

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Context clues are the elements on the printed page that give the reader hints to the meanings of unfamiliar words or familiar words used in unfamiliar ways. There are many kinds of context clues, including graphics, illustrations, charts, appositives, prefixes, suffixes, and surrounding words and sentences. Please see below for a selection of Leveled Lessons for Below Level (basic), On Level (median), and Above Level (competent) readers.
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Teaching Tips

We often instruct students to "use the context clues" without ever TEACHING what that term actually means. To assure that your students know what context clues are, try writing the following words on the chalkboard: sheets, fanned, stabbed, creamed, howling, wheeled. Ask students to tell you the meaning of each of these words. Then read the following sentences from Dan Gutman's short story, "Lightning Rod." The rain was coming down in sheets. He fanned the batter on three pitches. I stabbed first base with my toe and headed for second. We got creamed 15-3. The wind was howling now. The shortstop wheeled around. Ask students what those words meant in those sentences. How did they determine the meanings of these familiar words used in unfamiliar ways? Context clues!