Context Clue Worksheets

Many times we run into new words for the first time. Using the words near to the new unknown word, we can often determine the meaning of that word. This is called using the word in context. Authors often will write sentences with this in mind for the reader. Lets look at an example.

Do you know what "harkarl" is? What if it was used in this sentence: Mr. Jineky prepared his favorite family dish of harkarl for us last night. By the words of the sentence we can tell that this "harkarl" is a type of traditional cultural food. Harkarl is a traditional dish in Iceland. It's actually aged or some consider it rotten shark.

Conjunctions In Sentences
We have you identify conjunctions and then tell us what gets connected. We give you eight sentences to work with. Use the surrounding words to figure out the meanings of the underlined words.

Multiple Choice Context Clues
The words are a bit more advanced, but the clues given make it very doable. This worksheet follows the testing format that you will see very often. We use slightly larger words than the last setup.

Definitions by Context
We have you dissect sentences in this worksheet. We have you work on the usuage of words in sentence form. You will see this very often on most of the new testing formats.

Context Clue In Sentences
Now you define the word and then state the context clues that lead you to that definition. You are not only asked the meaning of a word, you are also asked to explain what other words lead you to that understanding.

Using Context Clues to Solve the Riddles!
This words are crazy! See if you can figure out what they are. Are these words for real? No, not many of them are. Lets see if you can be a word detective and find their meaning or concepts.

More Context Clues in Sentences
We use words that are common at the High School level. Use the other words in the sentences to understand the meaning of keywords. Then explain how you did it.

Using Context within Sentences to Understand Words
We start out easy and get more difficult as the sheet goes on. This worksheet covers a key skill that many students lack mastery of. You can use this skill in just about any grade leveled reading.

What Are Context Clues?

Reading is an essential part of learning a language. As students move to higher grades, they should be well-equipped with some strategies and techniques to improve their reading comprehension skills. One such strategy is understanding context clues.

Most students are unable to comprehend the meaning of unknown words while reading. Such words become a hurdle for them. As a result, they lose their entire train of thought. Learning context clues definition and some common types of context clues will help them overcome this hurdle effectively.

Context clues are hints that an author gives to help define a difficult or unusual word, or to provide the meaning of a word that has more than one definition. Context clues often appear as words or phrases near the unknown word. These words, phrases, and sentences can give students an idea about what the unfamiliar word means just by looking at how it’s used in context.

Words often have more than one meaning, especially if they are used in more than one language. For example, the word "bat" can mean a kind of animal or a piece of wood used to hit a ball. The word "band" can refer to musicians or an elastic strap for holding things together. The meaning of the word depends on how it is being used in a sentence. Sometimes it is clear which meaning is correct because there are other words near the ambiguous word that help explain the meaning; these are called context clues!

4 Types of With Examples

There are several types of context clues but we are going to discuss the four most widely used context clues with examples.

Definition Clues

The clue is a punctuation such as comma, dashes or parentheses or words like ‘that is’ that introduces the definition of the unknown word in the same sentence or the subsequent one.

Example: People often confuse physiology, the study of functions of the human body, with psychology. The commas before and after “the study of functions of the human body” indicate the meaning of physiology.

Synonym Clues

The clue is a word that means the same as the unknown word.

Here's an example: "The house was big and spacious." The word "big" is a synonym for "spacious."

Antonym Clues

The clue is a word that means the opposite of the unknown word. It may be indicated through words like but, however etc.

Here's an example: "I'm an introvert when in an unfamiliar setting, but an extrovert in the company of my best friends." The word "introvert" is an antonym for "extrovert," that can be identified due to the word “but”.

Example Clues

The clue is an example that explains the unknown word. Words such as including, for example etc might surround these clues.

For instance, let's say that you're reading a sentence like this one: "After researching camouflage animals such as chameleons, arctic foxes, snakes etc. scientists are now interested in camouflage plants." The examples given here that are "chameleons, arctic foxes, and snakes" give away the meaning of "camouflage" which means to disguise according to the background.

Their Importance

Reading skills are an important part of learning not only language but also other subjects. Therefore it is important that students are familiar with different strategies to make them a better reader. Using context clues is one such strategy

- Improvement in Reading Skills: Knowing context clues definition and understanding its types can assist students in improving their reading comprehension. Linking prior knowledge along with clues spread out near an unknown word can bring the meaning to the surface.

- Practice of Inference: Context clues can also help students infer the subsequent events in writing. Students can guess what’s about to happen in a text, making the reading more interesting.

- Enhancement in Vocabulary: Who doesn't want a bank of words at their disposal when writing? Using context clues while reading can enhance students’ vocabulary, making their writing more effective.

Context Clues as a Reading Strategy

Help your students learn context clues as to an effective reading strategy. When they come across a word that they don’t know, ask them to look for context clues. Context clues are the words that surround the new word. Sometimes the surrounding words will give them hints as to what the new word means. Instruct them to use context clues in the following way:

- Read through the sentence

- Underline or highlight any words that don’t make sense to them.

- Using only other information in the sentence, try to figure out what that word means based on its surroundings.

- Then read through the sentence again while paying attention to the new context clue.

- Does the new word now make sense? Voila!

Also, encourage your students to make inferences based on these contexts. Allow them to guess what will happen with logical reasoning. Give them a task to list down their new vocabulary words so that they can have a word bank to pick the words from.

Context clues are a fun and effective way of improving comprehension skills. Not limited to academic purposes, understanding context clues definition and types of context clues can develop a love for reading in students. When students struggle in understanding a text, they’re likely to give it up. But with a practice of context clues with examples, students will start reading as an interest.

Different types of context clues can also help students in understanding the text of other subjects helping them to improve in their studies overall.

So, when in doubt, do not panic. Tap into the knowledge of context clues and figure it out. Keep improving!