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Context Clues. VOCABULARY IN CONTEXT Do you know the meaning of the word vital ? Look at the sentence and see if the context —the words surrounding the.

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Presentation on theme: "Context Clues. VOCABULARY IN CONTEXT Do you know the meaning of the word vital ? Look at the sentence and see if the context —the words surrounding the."— Presentation transcript:

1 Context Clues

2 VOCABULARY IN CONTEXT Do you know the meaning of the word vital ? Look at the sentence and see if the context —the words surrounding the unfamiliar word—helps you figure out the meaning of the word. What does vital mean? A. unimportant B. necessaryC. surprising All animals share the same vital needs, such as food, water, and shelter.

3 VOCABULARY IN CONTEXT Food, water, and shelter are necessary needs. The context helps you figure out that vital means “necessary.” What does vital mean? A. unimportant B. necessaryC. surprising Using context clues to understand the meaning of unfamiliar words will save you time when reading. All animals share the same vital needs, such as food, water, and shelter.

4 Why are context clues important? They help us define unfamiliar, difficult words in texts. They help us to become better, perceptive readers. They come in handy during tests when a dictionary or the internet is not available to us.

5 Where are context clues found? In the same sentence as the difficult, unfamiliar word. In the same paragraph or passage as the unknown word. Context clues can be in the sentences following the word, for example. They are called context clues, because they are found in the “context” of the sentence or passage.

6 Context Clue Number 1: Definition The unfamiliar word is directly defined in the sentence in which it appears. Definitions are usually set off by commas or dashes, and may include the use of the words, as, or, that is, and in other words. Example: Apples, red fruits that grow on trees, are my teacher’s favorite food.

7 Definitions Cont’d In this case a word is defined for you in the sentence. This usually happens right after the unfamiliar word appears and it is set off with commas. Example: The arbitrator, the neutral person chosen to settle the dispute, arrived at her decision. We don’t know what arbitrator means, but luckily the definition is given to us in the sentence.

8 Context Clue Number 2: Antonym or Contrast The unfamiliar word is defined by using the word’s opposite or contrasting meaning. This type of context clue usually includes the words: whereas, unlike, as opposed to, however, in contrast to, but, on the other hand. Example: Unlike Jen, who was easygoing, Jackie was fastidious.

9 Antonyms Cont’d This is when an author gives the opposite of the unfamiliar word. Example: Unlike Jamaal’s room, which was immaculate, Jeffrey’s room was very messy. The word unlike lets you know an antonym is coming. Even though you may not know what immaculate means, you know it’s the opposite of “very messy”. Therefore it means something is very clean.

10 TYPES OF CONTEXT CLUES Cartoon © Kevin Smith from Compatible means A. disappointing B. busy C. in agreement Look at the cartoon below about the fighting couple who are visiting a marriage counselor. Can you figure out the meaning of the word compatible? Antonyms

11 TYPES OF CONTEXT CLUES Cartoon © Kevin Smith from Compatible means A. disappointing B. busy C. in agreement Look at the cartoon below about the fighting couple who are visiting a marriage counselor. Can you figure out the meaning of the word compatible? Antonyms The antonym “combatible” helps you figure out that compatible means “in agreement.”

12 Context Clue Number 3: Synonym or Restatement Words with similar meanings are used within the same sentence, or around the unfamiliar word Example: Santa Clause was so portly that his doctor declared him overweight.

13 Synonyms or Examples An author might give examples of a word in order to give the reader an idea of what a word means. For example: The river was full of noxious materials such as cleaning agents from factories and pesticides from the nearby farms. The words such as let us know an example is coming. Even though you may not know what noxious means, the examples of “cleaning agents” and “pesticides” let you know that things that are noxious are dangerous and poisonous.

14 TYPES OF CONTEXT CLUES Look at the cartoon below about a pollster speaking to a citizen. Can you figure out the meaning of the word apathy ? Apathy means A. hatred B. lack of interest or care C. kindness Synonyms

15 TYPES OF CONTEXT CLUES Look at the cartoon below about a pollster speaking to a citizen. Can you figure out the meaning of the word apathy ? Apathy means A. hatred B. lack of interest or care C. kindness Synonyms The synonym for apathy—expressed in the words of the citizen who says “I don’t care”—helps you understand that apathy means “a lack of interest or care.”

16 TYPES OF CONTEXT CLUES Look at the cartoon and see if the examples help you understand the meaning of the word alternative. Cartoon © by Thaves. All rights reserved. Examples Frank and Ernest Alternative means A. expensiveB. uselessC. other

17 TYPES OF CONTEXT CLUES Look at the cartoon and see if the examples help you understand the meaning of the word alternative. Cartoon © by Thaves. All rights reserved. Examples Frank and Ernest Alternative means A. expensiveB. uselessC. other The examples of alternative energy sources—wind power and solar power—help you understand that alternative means “other.”

18 TYPES OF CONTEXT CLUES All animals share the same vital needs, such as food, water, and shelter. Examples are often introduced with signal words and phrases like for example, for instance, including, and such as. Examples Example

19 Context Clue Number 4: Inference Word meanings are not directly stated in the text, but definitions of unfamiliar words can be assumed by both prior knowledge and the context in which the word sits. Example: She was so famished that people felt sorry for her, and gave her food to eat.

20 Inference Cont’d This is probably the most difficult kind of context clue. You need to use the ideas in the sentence to figure it out. Example: Walt’s pugnacious behavior in the boxing ring made his opponent back down. The whole sentence gives us clues to the meaning of the unfamiliar word. We know Walt is boxing, and something about his behavior has made is opponent back down. What kind of behavior might a boxer exibit that would make the person he’s fighting back off? Aggressive, strong, scary behavior might make an opponent back off. In fact, pugnacious means aggressive or ready to fight.

21 TYPES OF CONTEXT CLUES Often, the context of a new word contains no examples, synonyms, or antonyms. In such cases, you must become a detective and try to make a guess based on any clues provided. General Sense of the Sentence or Passage

22 Hey, Context Clue! I remember you! By using the acronym, SAID, you can remember the four types of context clues. S ynonym A ntonym I nference D efinition

23 TYPES OF CONTEXT CLUES Often, the context of a new word contains no examples, synonyms, or antonyms. In such cases, you must become a detective and try to make a guess based on any clues provided. General Sense of the Sentence or Passage

24 TYPES OF CONTEXT CLUES Look at the cartoon below about the cavemen covering over drawings in their cave. Notice the caption, “First Graffiti Eradication Program.” Can you figure out the meaning of the word eradication? Cartoon © Mike Twohy. All rights reserved. Eradication means A. elimination B. expansion C. teaching That’s Life General Sense of the Sentence or Passage

25 TYPES OF CONTEXT CLUES Look at the cartoon below about the cavemen covering over drawings in their cave. Notice the caption, “First Graffiti Eradication Program.” Can you figure out the meaning of the word eradication? Cartoon © Mike Twohy. All rights reserved. Eradication means A. elimination B. expansion C. teaching That’s Life The image of drawings being painted over, which would remove them from sight, suggests that eradication means “elimination.” General Sense of the Sentence or Passage

26 The Context Clues Riddle Game Read each sentence silently. Think about what the highlighted word means, and the type of context clue you used to arrive at your answer. You do not have to write anything down. You will have thirty seconds to answer each riddle.

27 Riddle Number 1 Since it was raining outside, I used my bumbershoot to keep from getting wet.

28 Riddle Number 1: Answer A bumbershoot is an umbrella. Context clue: inference

29 Riddle Number 2 Unlike Kyle, who is a conformer and a follower, Jeremy is a maverick.

30 Riddle Number 2: Answer A maverick is a loner, someone who is independent of the group. Context clue: antonym or contrast

31 Riddle Number 3 The ranivorous hawk, an animal that eats frogs, is found in central and eastern Africa.

32 Riddle Number 3: Answer Ranivorous means frog- eating. Context clue: definition

33 Riddle Number 4 In class, Julia was so cantankerous that her grumpy behavior negatively affected everyone.

34 Riddle Number 4: Answer Cantankerous means grouchy, or ill-tempered. Context clue: synonym or restatement

35 How to Answer These Questions Correctly 1. It’s not really important to be able to label each type of context clue. You are highly unlikely to be tested on whether you can identify antonyms vs. inference. 2. It is important that you can find the context clues though. You need to be able to figure out what unfamiliar words mean…and be able to back up your conclusion. 3. Practice reading texts that contain some (but not too many) unfamiliar words. Test yourself, can you figure out what a word means? After you’ve made a guess, look it up in the dictionary. Practice will help you improve this skill!! 4. When taking a test and faced with a question about an unfamiliar word USE THE TEXT! Fall back on the words on the page to help you figure out what a word means. Context clues are a reader’s best friend.


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