Context Clues You Are the Detective Make a First Decision Don’t get frustrated. • When you are reading, decide if you have to know the word in order to get the meaning of the paragraph or sentence. • If knowledge of the word’s meaning isn’t necessary, then move on and don’t waste time. • If knowledge of the word’s meaning is necessary, then get your detective gear ready. For Example: As part of their training as emergency response technicians, the class learned the proper way to immobilize accident victims before moving them to ambulances. Immobilize means: a) to move a lot b) to make incapable of movement c) to be part of a mob An Author’s Clues Authors usually give clues called CONTEXT CLUES. Context clues are hints that help readers discover the meaning of unfamiliar words. 5 Types of Context Clues #1 DEFINITION (specifically defines the word) The joey, which is a baby kangaroo, peeked out of his mother’s pocket. #2 SYNONYM (means the same as the underlined word) The beach was covered with debris like paper and cans and the children picked up all the trash. #3 ANTONYM (means the opposite as the underlined word) The ancient dress looked like new after she washed it. #4 EXAMPLE (use of words or phrases that are the same as the underlined word) Every day he brought a delectable, delicious, wonderful, yummy lunch to school. #5 EXPLANATION (an actual explanation is used) My mother used to pull across the bay to catch flounder. Pull is a word that is sometimes used to mean row. Using Clues for Better Comprehension When you have to stop reading to figure out what a word means, the flow of understanding of what you are reading is interrupted and sometimes lost. When you learn to skip over words that are not important and learn to figure out words on your own using CONTEXT CLUES, you are better able to understand what you read. In Small Groups 1) Read the sentences on your paper. 2) Figure out what each word means using the context clues. 3) In the column to the right, list which type of context clue is provided.