Context Clues

The meaning of a word can often be gleaned from clues in the surrounding context. What comes before and after a new word can reveal its meaning, structure, and use. These strategies can help students meet Common Core Standards related to Vocabulary Acquisition and Use. Help struggling readers to draw upon multiple approaches, such as direct instruction, choice of reading materials, or varied ways to interact with new words, using a range of technology tools. 

View an Introductory Presentation on Context Clues

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Read the Complete Context Clues Teaching Strategy Guide

Students need to know how to find context clues embedded in text, how to use them to understand word meanings, and why they are important. Use technology tools with a variety of differentiated strategies to help students use context clues.


  1. Provide Clear Explanations
  2. Give Students Strategies and Models
  3. Provide Opportunities for Practice