Reflection: Using Context Clues - Section 2: Getting Down to Business


A colleague and I were discussing how difficult this activity can be for some students.  It seems that they are able to create a sentence with a new word that uses the word properly; however, they have trouble creating sentences that show explicitly that a student knows what the word means.

As I go through this lesson, instead of saying, "Who has a sentence for this word?" and then working by revising that sentence (which could be so far off the mark that it's almost impossible to revise), I will say, "Why would we canvass an area?" (an example from this lesson)  We will then launch into a conversation about needing to find something.  Then I say, "What kinds of things do we need to find?"  and "Why would we need to find that?" My goal is to show students that yes, this sentence is technically correct:

I canvassed the living room.

But, to really show me that they understand the definition of the word, and actually create their own context clues for study, they would be better off with a sentence like:

I canvassed the living room looking for my missing iPod.

There are lots of teachable moments in this lesson!

  Writing a Sentence with a Vocabulary Word
  Writing a Sentence with a Vocabulary Word
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Using Context Clues

Unit 7: Starting The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Lesson 8 of 13

Objective: SWBAT use context as a clue to the meaning of a word by reading passages from The Adventure of Tom Sawyer.

Big Idea: You don't always need a dictionary to study vocabulary.

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