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February 6, 2014


Linda M. Penn

Hope you are warm and somehow finding some positives about this cold, snowy, icy winter. Hopefully, you and your children have found some extra reading and cuddle time during those snow days off from school. If you are located in a warm weather area, I have to admit I am jealous. If this Blog is somehow hard for you to understand, sorry. My brain just doesn’t seem to function well in cold weather. At least, I keep telling my husband that when I suggest we go to Florida. I will endeavor on and try my best to discuss “context clues.”

Context clues are useful when trying to figure out the meaning of a new word. You look for other words in the sentences surrounding the new word that will give you clues as to the meaning of the new word. Here are some sample sentences:

  1. The park was the site of the soccer game.

Using words from the sentence like “park” and “soccer game,” what might site mean? (a place)

  1. The raccoon is a nocturnal animal. It gets its food at night.

Using words from the sentences like “food” and “night,” what might nocturnal mean? (nighttime)

  1. The rain poured from the sky in buckets.

Using words from the sentence like “rain,” “sky,” and “buckets,” what might poured mean? (large amount of rain)

  1. We ate a feast of food at Grandma’s house.

Using words from the sentence like “food” and “Grandma’s house, what might feast mean? (large amount of food)

Children have a big success rate of figuring out meanings of words in this way.
Sometimes, children think they must read every word in a sentence to make sense of the sentence. IT IS OKAY FOR A CHILD TO SKIP A WORD IN A SENTENCE AND THEN GO BACK AND TRY TO FIGURE IT OUT. This applies when using phonics or context clues or any other reading strategy.

For example, let’s suppose that your little one is able to read the words in this sentence except for the word turtle: There was a turtle sitting on a log by the lake.

You might ask: What might be sitting on a log by a lake and the word starts with the “t” sound, has a “t” sound in the middle, and ends with an “l” sound? (turtle)

Whatever is a fun, natural way for a child to gain success with a new word, that is wonderful. When the child is able to figure out something new, it helps to build confidence and enjoyment of reading. PLEASE, KEEP IN MIND, HOWEVER, IF THE CHILD IS STRUGGLING, GO AHEAD AND TELL THE CHILD THE WORD. It keeps the flow of the reading going.

Next month’s Blog
“Reading a Book Over and Over – Boring or Helpful?”
Keep sharing that love of reading with your young ones and give them a book for Valentine’s Day!


Copyright 2014 Linda M. Penn All Rights Reserved

1 Comment to CONTEXT CLUES:

Comments RSS on Friday, June 09, 2017 10:32 AM
The discussion on the context clues is very interesting though. I am interested in it because many people seem to have so many points of views regarding the context clues so it’s grabbing my attention. it’s quite interesting to note that what actually is the meaning of context clues.
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