Name___________________________ Teacher ______________________
Context Clue Guide Grades 3-6
Type of Clue
Tells the meaning of the unknown word. The unknown word
may be connected to is or are.
Entomology is the study of insects.
Restatement or
Explanation of
Contrast or Antonym
The meaning is usually right after the unfamiliar word and
often separated from the rest of the sentence with commas
and the word or.
Meat eaters, or carnivores, are at
the top of the food chain.
She enjoyed biology (the study of
living things).
The unfamiliar word is shown to be different from or unlike
another word and is often an opposite. But however,
although, otherwise, unless, instead, on the contrary, on the
other hand, while, never, no, or not may be used to signal the
The unfamiliar word is shown to be the same as or like
another word: too, like, as, similar to, or in the same way
may be used to signal the comparison.
Mike's parrot was loquacious but
Maria's said very little.
The unfamiliar word is cleard up by giving an example: for
instance, such as, and for example may be used as signals.
List or Series
The unfamiliar word is included in a series of related words
that are separated by commas.
The archeologist found different
amulets, such as a rabbit's foot and
bags of herbs, near the ancient
North American predators include
grizzly bears, pumas, wolves, and
My brother is enthralled by birds in
the same way that I am fascinated
by insects.
Cause and Effect
The meaning of an unfamiliar word is signaled by a cause-andeffect relationship between ideas in the text. (Because of
this…this happens.)
Due to a dearth of termites, the
aardvark starved to death.
Description and
The meaning of the unfamiliar word can be inferred from the
description of a situation or experience.
The monkeys' vociferous chatter
made me wish I had earplugs.
Capitalization may contribute to understanding the meaning
of an unfamiliar word by looking at the first letter to see if it is
capitalized and a proper noun.
The mainly lived in the suburb,
Part of Speech
The word's part of speech may contribute to understanding
the meaning of the unfamiliar word by identifying its part of
speech. The word's position in the sentence may help with
PoS (noun, verb, adjective, adverb, etc.)
(Dappled has an 'ed' ending which usually would indicate a
past tense verb; yet, it comes before a noun and is describing
the noun so it is an adjective).
The dappled horse was brown and
Word Part
A word part may contribute to understanding the meaning of
an unfamiliar word such as a root, base, or compound word,
or a prefix, suffix. (Looking at the prefix sub in the target word
and the word submarine a student can conclude a pattern. If
a submarine goes under then sub in submerge may mean
under). The suffix s (horses) might indicate a plural noun, or
est (greatest) might show a superlative adjective.
The submarine submerged under
Weekly Vocabulary Homework
Purpose: To be exposed to the spelling and meanings of new words. (Some of the vocabulary activities require a parent signature since
there is no written product to turn in. I like to give students the opportunity to participate in such activities because not everyone
learns best through paper and pencil assignments.)
Due Date: Vocabulary homework is checked daily, but not collected until Friday. Please turn in all activities stapled.
Monday: Using the sentences on the worksheet provided, apply your context clue knowledge to create a definition for the underlined word and write your
definition on the worksheet. Some words will have more than one sentence due to their multiple meanings. You are responsible for knowing all meanings
for all words. Make sure you follow all directions on the worksheet provided.
Tuesday: Write all corrected definitions and part(s) of speech for your Wordly Wise words. To find the definitions, use your homework from last night that
we corrected in class. (You do not need to include the words from our in-class practice.)
Wednesday: Choose one vocabulary activity from the list below to complete for all Wordly Wise words.
• Crossword: Create a crossword puzzle by hand or using a crossword creator online. The clue for each word should be its definition or a sentence that
would lead someone to guess that word.
• Synonyms/Antonyms: Using a thesaurus, find three synonyms and/or antonyms for each word. (Be sure to label if it’s a synonym or antonym.)
• Drawings: Draw a picture for each word that shows its meaning.
•Cartoon: Cut out a cartoon strip from a newspaper or create your own cartoon strip. Use your words in the captions.
•Picture: Cut out a picture from a magazine, newspaper, etc. (or draw your own picture) and tell what is happening using your words.
• Writing: Write a short story or newspaper article using the words. (Whatever you write must make sense.)
• Movie Review: Create a movie review using your words.
• Flash Cards: Create flash cards for each of the definitions. (This means that some words will have more than one flash card because of multiple
• Vocabulary Roll Game: Put the words in a hat. Pull a word out of the hat and roll a dice. Depending on what number you roll, do the following for
the word: 1.) give a synonym; 2.) give an antonym ; 3.) define it; 4.) act it out; 5.) draw it; 6.) use it in a sentence. Repeat for all words
(and their multiple meanings, if necessary.) (Parent signature required.)
• Hand Movements: Come up with a hand movement for each word. (Parent signature required.)
• Charades: Play a game of charades (silently acting out your words) with an adult and have them guess the words. (Parent signature required.)
•Scenes: With an adult, brainstorm a situation in which each word can be used and act out the situation with them or for them. (Parent signature
•Concentration: Write your words on cards and their definitions on other cards. Turn all cards upside and play a matching game of concentration.
(Parent signature required.)
•Free Choice: Student-created activity that is previously approved by your teacher.
Thursday: Write sentences for all words. Make sure your sentences contain context clues.
For example:
 The famished man tore through the refrigerator looking for food. (Inference Context Clue)
 The man was famished. (No context given to tell the meaning of “famished.”)

Weekly Spelling Activities