Context clues are vital tools that help students determine and decipher the meanings of unfamiliar words when reading. As an elementary English Language Arts teacher, one of the best ways to teach context clues to your students is by using anchor charts. These visual aids provide a clear and concise representation of new concepts, making them easier for students to grasp. In this blog post, we’ll discuss three must-have anchor charts that are perfect for teaching context clues in your classroom.
#1: How-To Anchor Chart
This anchor chart is an excellent introduction to context clues. It helps students learn how to use the surrounding words and phrases to determine the meaning of an unfamiliar word. With a simple three-step process, students can see just how easy it can be to figure out the meaning of an unknown word.
The anchor chart can be simple:
- Write “Context Clues” across the top, to label the chart.
- Record a simple, clear definition below the label.
- Divide the chart into three columns.
- Look at the WORD.
- Look at the SENTENCE.
- Access your SCHEMA.
- You can record guiding questions in each section, as well. Leave enough room to add sticky notes or write on/wipe off examples for each part of the process.
#2: Types of Context Clues Anchor Chart
Next, you’ll want to illustrate each type of context clue, including Definition, Antonym, Synonym, Example, and Inference. I like to use the acronym IDEAS to make it easier for students to remember the 5 most common types of context clues. Again, leave space for interactive examples of each type. Be sure to encourage your students to use this chart when identifying context clues when they encounter unfamiliar words.
#3: Context Clues in Action
Lastly, you will want to have an anchor chart for practice. This chart is simple and practical. You will use this chart to effectively apply the skill within real texts. Highlight words and passages in real books students can easily access from your class library, or printable texts you’re reading together.
When introducing the chart, make sure to discuss with your students strategies on how to identify and utilize context clues successfully. Ensure the examples used are at the student’s reading levels to make understanding easier.
As with all anchor charts, I recommend laminating it for easy reuse and storage. Plus, you can write on/wipe off or use sticky notes to make them endlessly interactive!
Teaching context clues can be a daunting task for some elementary English Language Arts teachers, but using anchor charts can make it easier and a fun experience for students. By creating these anchor charts, your students can learn about the different types of context clues and the importance of looking for word parts to infer meaning. Providing a foundation to encourage students’ critical thinking and understanding of fictional literature. Encouraging discussions and activities that involve these charts can help your students comfortably use context clues when encountering unfamiliar words in real literature. These anchor charts can empower your students’ overall comprehensive literacy study and mastery.
Resources That Are Ready to Go!
If you’re looking for no-prep resources that are ready to go, I have complete context clues units for you! Whether you’re teaching context clues in language, Reading literature, or Reading Informational. Click the links below to get a closer look at the units.
Reading Informational Units:
These units are complete and will help you teach context clues within nonfiction reading topics.
These units are complete and will help you teach context clues within language. Your students will be able to master the skills they need to improve their vocabulary and language acquisition.