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Use Context Clues to Decipher Words

Readers use information from text to decipher unfamiliar words. They examine clues from the selection to define words and phrases. Context refers to the words that come before and after a word. Sometimes when an author is introducing a concept, she will use synonyms to help readers make connections. Sometimes when an author is introducing a concept, she will use antonyms to help readers make connections. Context may include a definition. Examples are often provided to give readers clues about a concept. Authors often help readers visualize story ideas with descriptive details. The picture painted by the author’s description may provide clues to an unfamiliar word.

Guiding Questions:

  • What do you think the word means?
  • Which clues did you use to help you predict the meaning of the word?
  • How did the author help you understand new words?
  • What synonyms or antonyms help you define new words from the selection?
  • What examples did the author write to help readers understand new ideas?
  • Did the author use comparisons to help describe new ideas?


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