Lesson: Context Clues: Using Sentence/Paragraph to Determine Meaning

35 Favorites

Lesson Objective

Students will know and be able to determine the meaning of a word using clues from a sentence or paragraph.

Lesson Plan



State Standard:

5.LD-V.10. Determine the meaning of unfamiliar words in context using definitions and examples stated in the text





Students will know and be able to determine the meaning of a word using clues from a sentence or paragraph.

Do Now

Respond to the following quote in your journal. Remember write your first thoughts and what you think the quote means.


“Experience is not what happens to you; It’s what you do with what happens to you.” by Alodous Huxley


Turn and Talk:  What would you do if a really big dog. A dog like this (show  a picture of a Mastiff) approached you?

Direct Instruction


Text: Ramona the Brave

You will need to preview the text and scaffold the introduction to the text based on your student’s need.

T: Students we are going to be reading a story about a girl who encounters a really big dog!  The dog takes something from her. She has to decide what she will do to get it back! The story is called Romana the Brave. 


In our story we are going to come across words that we may not know.  Sometimes when we come across words we don’t know it messes up our ability to understand the story. We get confused. However, we don’t want to stop and get a dictionary every time.  While reading this story, we are going to practice a strategy that will helps us determine the meaning of words we don’t know. Some of you already have strategies to determine the meaning of an unknown word. What do you do when you come to a word you do not know?


S: List student responses on anchor chart called “What We do when we need a clue”


T: There are a variety of strategies we can use when we come to a word we don’t know. One strategy we will focus on today is finding out the meaning of a word by using clues from the sentence or paragraph.  Let’s begin reading and I will show you how I use this strategy!


T: Read p. 1: Stop at: “She had never seen her sister’s cheeks so flushed with anger as they were this August afternoon.” 

Think Aloud: hmmm. I know flush is something we do with the toilet but that doesn’t make sense that her cheeks would have anything to do with a toilet. I wonder what flushed means.  Well I know she is angry (because the text says...) so, when you are angry your cheeks get hot. Since our characters are or fair skinned, her cheeks might also get red. Let me reword that sentence. She had never seen her sister’s cheeks so red/hot with anger...I think that makes more sense. Thumbs up if you agree. 


Readers did you see how I used the words in the sentence to help me figure out the meaning? I  used angry and cheeks and I thought about the entire sentence. Then I tried to come up with a word that made sense and put that word in the sentence to double check. Did you see how I put hot in the sentence to double check?


Ok, this book has some tough words. I am going to use this graphic organizer to keep track of my thinking around words I am learning.  Complete graphic organizer using flushed.  Have students help you. I am going to continue reading and we are going to practice using the sentence/paragraph strategy to determine the meaning of more words.



Guided Practice

T: read to page 8 subdued. Ask what do you think subdued means? How do you know? 


S: Have students turn and talk and discuss what subdued might mean based on clues in the sentence. Complete graphic organizer together.


 Repeat with exasperating on p. 18

T: Now it’s your turn to practice figuring out the meaning of words using clues from the sentence.


Independent Practice

Give students their own copy of the text or make a copy of chapter two. Have students use the graphic organizer to track their understanding of the following words: 

Indignant (p.21) Varlet (27) Yonder (27) Liberated (31)


Remind students to use the strategy and the organizer for any word they have trouble with not just the words listed.


Conference with students during reading time to assess.





Review word meaning and strategy use. Have one student who used the strategy share how it helped them. Have students discuss when they would use the strategy. Add it to the anchor chart. Then have students practice use of the strategy during their independent reading time.



 Read the Sentences below. Determine the meaning of the bolded word below.

  1. Ramona was so petrified of the pit bull she couldn’t move her legs. 

Petrified most likely means:

  1. brave
  2. fearful
  3. unafraid
  4. shy


  1. Tony really wanted his teacher to change his grade. Though he was unrelenting,  she would not change her mind until he completed all his assignments. 

Unrelenting most likely means:


  1. did not give up
  2. irritating
  3. relieved
  4. gave up


3. Katina was ecstatic about getting a brand new puppy!  She could hardly wait to hold the puppy in her arms. She had saved her money for eight months to buy everything her new puppy would need.


Ecstatic most likely means


  1. nervous
  2. patient
  3. over joyed
  4. scared


  1. Dontrell earned a 50% on his math text. He was really vexed because he had studied so hard. He had no idea what went wrong.

Vexed most likely means


  1. happy
  2. scared
  3. pleased
  4. angry


  1. Kemoni loves basketball. Even though she only has one leg, she works really hard at getting better. She is very tenacious and one day hopes to play for the WNBA.

Tenacious most likely means


  1. determined
  2. weak
  3. hard
  4. sad





Lesson Resources

Context Clues-Using Sentence or Paragraph.doc  


Something went wrong. See details for more info
Nothing to upload