Lesson: Context Clues to Define Meaning

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Lesson Objective

I can use the context to find the meaning of a word when other words help describe the word.

Lesson Plan




I can

I can use the context to find the meaning of a word when other words help describe the word. 

Purpose of Learning

Today’s purpose of learning is to use context to find the meaning of a word, when other words help describe the word.


Monday we learned what context is.  Remember that context is the sentence or the paragraph in which an unknown word appears.  It surrounds an unknown word.  So we use context when we come to a word we don’t know.  Yesterday we talked about examples that can help us find the meaning of an unknown word.  Today we’re going to focus on a new way to use context: using other words around the unknown word that describe it to find the meaning.


I Do

T: If there isn’t a definition or example given for an unknown word, we have to use a new strategy to figure that word out!  One way to do this is to look at the words around the unknown word to see if you can figure out the meaning from them.

  • E.g. “The irate teacher was yelling and stomping her feet.” 
  • Think aloud: “I noticed that the unknown word is irate and that two other words in this sentence give me clues as to what this word means.  I see the words yelling and stomping, which makes me think of someone who is really really angry.  Therefore, I think that the word irate must mean really angry.


We Do

T: Gives class new example sentences.

S: Turn and talk:  What do you think the underlined word in this sentence means?  How do you know/what strategy did you use?


You Do

T: Put up new example sentences

S: Have Ss stop and think about what the meaning of the underlined word is.  Call on Ss (who you’re worried might not have it) to give their definition and how they got it.

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