Students will be able to figure out the meaning of unknown words using various strategies and clues.
- Ask, “What do you do when you’re reading and come across a word that you don’t know?” Write a few answers on the board.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(10 minutes)
- Read aloud a page of a book to the class. Choose one word that you will work on figuring out the meaning of.
- Briefly review the following strategies for figuring out the meaning of unknown words:
- Where did the word come from? Think about prefixes, suffixes, and root words.
- What would make sense? Use context cues.
- Check in with your senses: Is the mystery word a sensory word?
- Homophones & Homographs: Does the word sound like another word you’ve heard before?
- Synonyms and antonyms: Do you know another word with a similar or opposite meaning?
- Compound word: Is the word made up of smaller words?
- Is it an abbreviation?
- Use the strategies that are most relevant to the unknown word you selected to figure out the meaning of the word.
Guided Practice(15 minutes)
- Have students work with a partner to find a book. Have partners locate a word that they are not sure of the meaning of and use one of the strategies you identified.
- Ask pairs to share their sentence, word, strategy, and the word’s meaning.
Independent working time(20 minutes)
- Have students select a book at their reading level. As they read, have students complete the Read the Word Clues worksheet as they identify and figure out the meaning of unknown words.
- Have students complete the Prefix, Suffix, Make Sense of It worksheet when they finish reading.
Support: Highlight the words that students should work to figure out the meaning of.
Enrichment: Have students check their definitions in a dictionary and make their own glossary featuring the words that they encountered.
- Write a few simple sentences on the board. In each sentence, include one word that students probably won't know. Examples include:
- My sister just bought a very unique dollhouse.
- What's the purpose of wearing a helment?
- Can you please disable the fire alarm?
- Give the students a few minutes to figure out the unknown words, using one of the strategies they learned today.
- Call on a few students to explain how they figured out what the unknown word meant and what strategy they thought was the most helpful.
Review and closing(5 minutes)
- Have students share some of the words and definitions that they worked with during independent work time.