Lesson Plan

Get Clued In to Context Clues

Context clues are a powerful tool for all readers! Use this lesson to teach your students how to utilize context clues to determine the meanings of unknown words.
View aligned standards

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to use context clues to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments


(5 minutes)
Keeping Up with Context CluesContext Clues Learning Check
  • Write the phrase Difficult Words on the board and circle it. Ask students to think about what they do when they encounter a difficult word during reading. Record answers around the phrase and circle them to create a concept map graphic organizer.
  • Provide feedback about student answers, pointing out the effective strategies all readers should use.
  • Read the learning objective aloud, and have the class choral read it. Explain that today’s lesson will teach about good context clues that support a reader in figuring out the definition of new words. Context clues are a skill that readers use to figure out the meanings of unknown words in a sentence. These are found within the same sentence as the unknown words, or they can be found in sentences that come before or after them.

Beginning: Ask students to talk about their strategies with a partner in their home language (L1) or their new language (L2).


  • Provide a student-friendly definition for the word difficult.
  • Ask students to summarize the definition of context clues in their own words to a partner, and then to the whole class.