Friday, April 8, 2016

Context Clues Bonanza!

One of the most important skills we can teach our ESL friends is how to use context clues to understand vocabulary they do not know. It would be impossible for me to explicitly teach every single word in the English language to my students, so they need to have the skills necessary to determine the meaning of unknown words on their own!

I've found that the easiest way to get my students to start thinking about context clues is to give them some explicit "clue words" to look for around a word they might not know. I've created four lessons around this idea, for four different kinds of context clue words: words that give the definition, synonyms, antonyms, and examples.

My students routinely LOVE this lesson. We usually start off with this video as a hook:

We talk about what detectives do and look for, then I pass out my students' magnifying glasses for the day and start to practice looking for "clues" in what we read. I try to do this unit towards the beginning of the year and it is one of the most memorable units we do- I still have students raising their hand and telling me every time they see the clue word "for example".

You can download my context clues units at my TpT store (or click on any of the pictures to be redirected there).

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