Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Context Clues: A Schoolish Game

Here a clue, there a clue, everywhere are context clues. “What is this sentence saying, Mom? I don’t understand what the story is talking about. I don’t know what this word means, Mom.” Have you heard this before?

Sometimes kids have problems figuring out hard or unexpected words in their reading. The first thing we do is either tell the meaning (lost opportunity for them), or tell them to look the word up. Looking the word up can be boring and a drag to many kids…very schoolish, isn't it? Understanding context clues is as vital to reading comprehension as is spelling and vocabulary.

Do your kids get tired of playing the same old spelling games over and over? If you marry context clues with spelling or vocabulary practice, you will have a whole new game for them to play. And we all know playing games is more fun than just looking up a word in a dictionary, plus, retention is much higher. Give online games a shot.

Your kids can practice using context clues to identify spelling and vocabulary words as they improve their reading comprehension. Sometimes kids have to dig a little deeper to understand what an author is saying. If they become more aware of the words around the difficult words they encounter in their reading, they will save themselves (and you) many trips to the dictionary. Your goal is to teach them how to find answers on their own, and their goal is to make very good logical guesses about the meanings of many different words.

If you or your kids need a little more background on context clues, this site does a great job explaining things.


  1. This looks great. Not knowing what words mean really poses a challenge for my son. And it's not just a problem that younger kids face. The older they get the more difficult words they get thrown at them. He's going into 9th grade and the reading just keeps getting more difficult. I've googled context clues worksheets and found quite a few of them, which have been really helpful. I'll have to teach him from this sheet when we start school next fall. (Yay, we're done for the year!) Thanks for the post!

    1. Macungie Mom, thanks for the compliment! Have your son play the online context clues games. Click on "context clues" in the first sentence to go there. It is a free site with awesome educational games for all ages.

      I appreciate you taking time to leave me a comment. :)


  2. That looks like a great chart for helping students understand the process of using context clues.