Fill in the Blank: Context Clues for Word Choice

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Students will read a paragraph with missing words that have been replaced with silly, nonsense words
Students will predict what words should go in the sentence according to the tone, context, and surrounding words
Students will complete multiple choice worksheet with similar exercises to practice sentence completion

Project the essay, which is visible to all of the students

Tell the students that they be learning about how to read a sentence for clues in context, tone, and word choice in order to succeessfuly complete sentences with appropriate words, or the word that fits best. Tell students that they can use these tools to determine the meaning of a word, by looking at the 'clues' in the sentence.

Read through the aloud, or take volunteers to read two sentences by two sentences.


"Tropical rainforests are among the most mysterious of all
geographical biomes in the SOUFlLAK. A biome is an area with
distinctive plants and animals that have adapted to life in that
particular environment. Rainforests have covered large portions of the Earth for
millions of years, and can have trees that are 1,000 years-old or
more. They are called rainforests because they are among the
TOCKIEST areas on Earth, receiving anywhere from 80 to 100 inches of rain a year.

In most rainforests, the FLURFLAK ranges from 70 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit all year long, and the air is almost always humid.
Rainforests have four very distinct layers of trees. The first is the emergent layer which has giant
trees growing from 100 to 240 feet tall. These trees have umbrella-shaped crowns that grow high above
the rest of the forest. They have their own distinct plant and animal life. The next BLIMIO is called the canopy. These trees grow up to 130 feet tall, and they form a tight canopy, or covering, over the rest of the forest which allows very little sunlight to reach the ground. About 90% of all rainforest animals live GRICK up in the canopy.

The third layer is the understory, and it's more shady. Only about 15% of the sunlight from the canopy falls, and it tends be
very warm and humid. Trees and leafy plants that require little MISCRO grow here, with the trees growing to about 60 ft. This layer has many smaller trees, shrubs, vines, and plants, but little air movement. The final layer of the rainforest is the forest floor. It is dark in color and less than 2% of the sun's light reaches this area. Because the sun's rays don't shine on the ground, there is very SMOO plant life on the forest floor."

Discuss with the students how they might determine what word/words would make sense in place of the nonsense words in the sentence. Ask them to read aloud to themselves. Give the students a few minutes to confer with their neighbor or groups of three to brainstorm what five words they would like to try in place of the nonsense words.

Have the children share their responses. Record the responses per sentenceĀ  on the board.

Now read the story using the different words suggested, if there are any particularly confusing sentences circle words that are "context clues" on the overhead transparency or highlight on PowerPoint.

Accept each word positively, though direct students to which word(s) might fit best. Ask the students why they chose certain words.

Emphasize the strategy of using context clues to decide which words would fit best with the sentence's meaning.

Ask the students if there were words that they did not recognize or know the meaning of in the essay. Demonstrate how they might use context clues to decipher the word meaning.

Pass out a Context Clues worksheet of your making with practice sentences. Continue to use the silly nonsense words to fill in blanks, offer three multiple choice responses for the student to circle: one word that is best, one that could be related; and one that is totally random.

Do the first sentence from the worksheet together. Students can use theĀ  rest of the class period to complete.

Use the number correct on worksheet as an assessment tool for understanding or the need for further instruction on context clues and sentence completion.