Words to Understand: Identifying the Meaning of Tier 2 Words Using Context Clues

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SWBAT to define content specific vocabulary words and give and example for each word.

Big Idea

It is not enough for students to be able to use a dictionary to define a word. They need to also be able to connect it to an example or reference.


10 minutes

How does the typical person learn a new word? Usually in context where the word is used. Rarely do we actually take out a dictionary and look it up. Although, it is important for students to know how to use a dictionary for those times where is it useful, they need strategies to learn new vocabulary as they come across it. This lesson supports them in developing that strategy.

Main Activity

30 minutes

First, students open their textbook to the chapter that we are studying today. They identify the important words for chapter by noticing the highlighted words. I call on a student to read the words out loud and direct students to where they can find them in the text.

I explain that often times when we come across new words, we pay attention to way the text uses them or explains their meaning then we try to put them in our own words. We might also find and example of what that word means or how to use that word.

I demonstrate how we to do that with the first word on the list, "artifact". I model how to look for the word and then to read the paragraph the word is in to understand the word. I also, use the paragraph to find an example of what an "artifact" is. 

Student receive the note taking sheet to record the definitions and examples and are directed to begin.


10 minutes

After time is up or students have taken notes on all of the vocabulary, I call on students to share the definitions and examples. To hold students accountable, I may pull sticks with students names on them or call on one student to share the definition but have them call on another student to share the example. I might even call on a few students to share example. Students who are not finished or do not have correct information can revise their notes as other students are sharing. I correct any misconceptions as students are sharing.