The first step in teaching context clues is to make students aware of the different types:
- Look for a synonym. Sally and Susie often get into little skirmishes, but they don’t let these little arguments spoil their friendship.
- Look for an antonym. (Compare and Contrast) Nicho tried to conceal his actions, but his face showed that he was reading another book at his desk.
- Look for the definition. Babushka lived in a dacha, a small house in the Russian countryside. An addendum to this: Some students need to be taught that the word or in a sentence can signal a definition as in, Babushka lived in a dacha, or small house, in the Russian countryside.
- Look for words that appear in a series. The dulcimer, banjo, and the fiddle are popular instruments in the Appalachian Mountains.
- Look at cause and effect. My husband infuriates me when he throws away papers that are important to me.
- Look at general context. He reminded me of Yin. Yin was a king in China during the 1500’s whom I had studied about in school.)