Bright Idea: Using Post it Note to Teach Context Clues

Today I have such a simple way to teach context clues.  I have done this lesson with 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade students and it is one of those lessons that is awesome every time.  I wish all lessons went that way, don't you!?!?

It helps that it uses my most favorite classroom tool ever: the post it note.  Seriously, what can't you do with these things?!?!

You can buy the fancy kind or make your own by cutting up a post it note.  I am cheap, so I always cut my own ;).

I love to use the book Zomo the Rabbit. Great example of a trickster tale and the vocabulary isn't too difficult.  It is perfect for introducing context clues. I also happened to have a big book version of it!  Really, you need a big book in order to do this lesson.  The kids have to be able to see the text.

Cover the tricky word with post it notes.  This is why is helped to make my own. I could cut the post it down to exactly the right size to cover the word.  No more, no less.  Often, I layered SEVERAL post it notes, so that when the top one was pulled off it revealed only the first few letters. Great way to talk about how using ONLY  initial letters and sounds to figure out an unknown word isn't always the most effective strategy. 

This lesson  always got a LOT of bang for my buck: context clues, decoding strategies, checking for meaning...the list goes on and on.  It was also pretty interactive and fun :).  That is a nice touch!!

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  1. Great idea! Thanks so much! I'm your newest follower!

    Tales of a Teacher

  2. Love this idea!! We use nonsense words sometimes to get them to really use the context clues so this is perfect to cover them!!! It will take their focus off the fact they don't know the word to using the context clues!! :)

    All Things Apple in 2nd

  3. This is awesome! I will def try this as a think aloud to introduce context clues next year-- thank you!
    Learning to the Core

  4. Love this I'm off to see if I can get this book. :)
    Mrs. Samuelson's Swamp Frogs


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