Lesson: Vocabulary - 28-37

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Lesson Objective

Students will identify and use key vocabulary from the text using context clues.

Lesson Plan

Objective:   Students will identify and use key vocabulary from the text using context clues.

Lesson Plan


Opening:  What happens when you come to a word we don’t know the meaning of when we are reading??  Do you skip it?  Do you just read through it and hope it doesn’t matter?  Do you stop and use the dictionary?  Do you ask the teacher for help?  These strategies can lead to a lot of confusion or extra time away from your reading.

Today and throughout our novel, you are going to be word detectives. There is a way for word detectives to find the meaning of new words by themselves:  Authors sometimes give clues called context clues. Context clues are hints that help readers discover the meaning of unfamiliar words.

Direct Instruction (I DO):

Different Kinds of Context Clues

Explain that context clues are words that come before or after the new word and that there are several different kinds of context clues.

We are going to use the acronym; SALED to help us remember the different types of context clues:

Synonym–Sometimes an unknown word is defined by the use of a synonym.

Synonyms appear in apposition, in which case commas, dashes, or parentheses are used.

·     Example:  The wardrobe, or closet, opened the door to a brand new world.

Antonym–Sometimes an unknown word is defined by the use of an antonym.

Antonym clues will often use Signal Words e.g., however, not, but, in contrast

·     Example: He signaled a looey, not a right turn.

Logic–Your own knowledge about the content and text structure may provide clues to the meaning.

Logic clues can lead to a logical guess as to the meaning of an unknown word.

·     Example: He petted the canine, and then made her sit up and beg for a bone.

Example–When part of a list of examples or if the unknown word itself provides an example, either provides good clues to meaning. Example clues will often use transition words e.g., such as, for example, like

·     Example: Adventurous, rowdy, and crazy pioneers all found their way out West.

Definition – the author puts the definition right into the sentence.

·     Example:  There are many theories; scientific ideas, about what made the Ice Ages happen.

We can use these clues to help us decipher various words while we are reading “The Secret Zoo”

I will make sure to have these clues displayed in the room in order for you to reference these throughout our reading time (see attached file).

Guided Practice (WE DO):

Write these sentences on the dry erase board, underlining the unfamiliar words. Do not write the answers in parentheses.

·     The joey, which is a baby kangaroo, peeked out of his mother's pocket. (definition)

·     The beach was covered with debris like paper and cans, and the children picked up all the trash. (synonym)

·     The ancient dress looked like new after she washed it. (antonym)

·     Every day he brought a delectable, delicious, wonderful, yummy lunch to school. (example)

·     My mother used to pull across the bay to catch flounder. Pull is a word that is sometimes used to mean row. (explanation)

Have students use the attached sheet to come up with their own definitions for the words (see attached file).


Independent Practice (YOU DO): ONGOING PRACTICE, independent practice can be done in association with a DO NOW or HOMEWORK.

Students read Chapters 28-37

As they read and come across a word that they do not know, follow the steps modeled in GP. 

Students should find 3 words that they have trouble with.

Using the Mystery Word sheet they will use context clues to come up with their own definition.

Lesson Resources

Vocabulary 28 37   Vocabulary


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