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Using Context Clues

to unlock meaning

Kathleen Cady

on 5 November 2013

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Transcript of Using Context Clues

We use context clues when we come across a word we don't know while reading a text (2b).
Four Types of Context Clues

Context Clues
Word meanings are not directly stated in the text, but definitions of unfamiliar words can be assumed by both prior knowledge and the context in which the word sits.

She was so famished that people felt sorry for her, and gave her food to eat.
Context Clue Number 4:
The unfamiliar word is defined by using the word’s opposite or contrasting meaning.

This type of context clue usually includes the words: whereas, unlike, as opposed to, however, in contrast to, but, on the other hand.

: Unlike Jen, who was easygoing, Jackie was fastidious.
Context Clue Number 2:
Antonym or Contrast
In the same sentence as the difficult, unfamiliar word.

In the same paragraph or passage as the unknown word.

Context clues can be in the sentences following the word, for example.

They are called context clues, because they are found in the “context” of the sentence or passage.
Where are context clues found?
They help us define unfamiliar, difficult words in texts.
They help us to become better, perceptive readers.
They come in handy during tests when a dictionary or the internet is not available to us.
Why are context clues important?
Cantankerous means grouchy, or ill-tempered.
Context clue: synonym or restatement
Riddle Number 4:
In class, Julia was so cantankerous that her grumpy behavior negatively affected everyone.
Riddle Number 4
Ranivorous means frog-eating.
Context clue: definition
Riddle Number 3:
A maverick is a loner, someone who is independent of the group.

Context clue: antonym or contrast
Riddle Number 2:
Unlike Kyle, who is a conformer and a follower, Jeremy is a maverick.
Riddle Number 2
A bumbershoot is an umbrella.
Context clue: inference
Riddle Number 1: Answer
Read each sentence silently.
Think about what the highlighted word means, and the type of context clue you used to arrive at your answer. You do not have to write anything down.
You will have thirty seconds to answer each riddle.
The Context Clues Riddle Game
By using the acronym, SAID, you can remember the four types of context clues.
Hey, Context Clue! I remember you!
Words with similar meanings are used within the same sentence, or around the unfamiliar word.

: Santa Clause was so portly that his doctor declared him overweight.
Context Clue Number 3:
Synonym or Restatement
The unfamiliar word is directly defined in the sentence in which it appears.

Definitions are usually set off by commas or dashes, and may include the use of the words, as, or, that is, and in other words.

: Apples, red fruits that grow on trees, are my teacher’s favorite food.
Context Clue Number 1: Definition
The ranivorous hawk, an animal that eats frogs, is found in central and eastern Africa.
Riddle Number 3
Since it was raining outside, I used my bumbershoot to keep from getting wet.
Riddle Number 1
Let's Practice Now in Small Groups
1. Do you have a copy of the white chart?
2. Do you have a file folder of graphic novel pages?
Wreak Havoc
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