Reading Context Clues Practice Exercises

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Updated on Sep 29, 2011

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Reading Context Clues Study Guide

Reading Context Clues Practice Exercises

Practice 1: Planning Ahead 

Read the selection, and then answer the questions that follow.

(1) It was late when Marco finally got to the store. He'd been planning this surprise party for weeks, but somehow time was running out! "I can handle it all by myself," he'd told his mom when he first suggested a surprise party for his cousin's birthday. "I mean, how hard it is to throw a party?"
(2) "It can be very time-consuming. There's a lot to do," replied his mom. But Marco reiterated, "I can handle it all myself!"
(3) Marco did all the mundane, tedious things first, like making a list of who to invite, buying the invitations, and addressing and mailing them out. He found it somewhat irritating when people called to RSVP right in the middle of his favorite TV show, but he thanked them and checked their names on the list so he'd know who would and wouldn't be attending the party.
(4) Then he planned the menu. He knew Paco loved Crema Catalana— a cold custard with a crispy, crunchy, caramel coating. Marco thought his mom made the best, so he asked her to make it for the party. Of course, he planned to have a giant birthday cake with candles for Paco to blow out for luck. Marco also picked other good things to serve.
(5) The day of the party, Marco blew up balloons and made colorful garlands. He draped the paper-chain ribbons across the curtains and attached the balloons to the wall with double-stick tape. Everything looked quite festive. He called his Uncle Santiago to make sure he'd bring Paco at the right time, supposedly just to drop in for a minute on the way to dinner. Then Marco checked on the food supplies. The snacks were ready. The Crema Catalana was in the refrigerator keeping cold, awaiting that final, lastminute caramel topping. And the cake was ready, awaiting the candles on top… "Oh, no!" Marco cried. "I forgot to pick up candles! Mom, do we have any birthday candles?"
(6) "Sorry, honey," she replied. "I wish you'd told me… I could have picked some up on the way home. You'll have to run to the store to get some."
(7) And that's how Marco ended up at the store just before closing, when there was just one checkout open, and a very slow clerk. The lady in front of Marco kept asking, "Is it always this slow?" After the fifth time, Marco replied, somewhat politely, "Yes, ma'am, except on Thursdays. Why don't you come back then?"
(8) The lady turned in a huff and galumphed out of the store, leaving one less person in front of Marco.
(9) Finally, Marco got to the counter. "I just have these birthday candles, Ma'am, and I can't be late for the party," he said hurriedly as he put some money on the counter. "Just keep the change!"
(10) He ran home as fast as he could, arriving just in time to hear everyone inside yell "Surprise!" as Paco and Uncle Santiago walked in the door ahead of him!
1. Which is most likely the meaning of reiterate?
a. refused
b. said for the first time
c. said again
d. sat down
2. Which is NOT a meaning of mundane?
a. boring
b. ordinary
c. dull
d. unusual
3. What kind of context clue does the author use for Crema Catalana?
a. an example of a similar dessert
b. a definition
c. a synonym
d. none of the above
4. What kind of context clue does the author use for garlands?
a. a definition
b. an antonym
c. a restatement to clarify
d. examples of other hanging objects
5. From the context, which is most likely the meaning of galumphed?
a. tip-toed
b. ran
c. stomped
d. skipped
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