Lesson 2: Context Clues
The Life Cycle of an Emperor Penguin
- Learning Goal
- Use the sentences before and after an unknown word to determine its meaning.
- Approximately 50 minutes
- Necessary Materials
- Provided: Independent Practice Worksheet
Not Provided: The Life Cycle of an Emperor Penguin by Bobbie Kalman
will explain that sometimes when we read we come across a word that we can sound out and read but we do not know its meaning. When we come across a word we don’t know, we can read the sentence before and after the sentence with the unknown word and think about the meaning of the text. This is called using context clues. First, we read the entire sentence that contains the unknown word. Then, we reread the sentence that came before this sentence and continue to read the sentence after the unknown word. Next, we think about the meaning of the text. Finally, we try to identify what the unknown word is based on the meaning of the text. I will use The Life Cycle of an Emperor Penguin by Bobbie Kalman to model how to read the sentences before and after a vocabulary word to figure out the meaning of the word. I will explain that authors often explain a new vocabulary word in the sentences surrounding it. I will model this strategy with the bold words (“bird,” “warm-blooded,” “species,” and “colonies” in the section “What is a penguin?” on pages 4–5). I will repeat this with ”crested penguin” in the caption on page 5.
TIP: Create a visual of three examples of using sentences around an unknown word to determine its meaning. The first example can be a sentence that includes the word’s definition. The second example can be a sentence with an appositive. The third example can give the reader information, but require the reader to draw a conclusion about the meaning of the word. All three examples are provided in the text Emperor Penguin by Bobbie Kalman.
Ask: How did I figure out the meaning of the word "species" in the text? Students should respond that you read the sentence before and the sentence after the word and used clues in the text to identify the meaning.
will read the sentences before and after the bolded words on pages 12–13, in the section “Journey on the ice,” to help us determine the meaning of the words. We will discuss the meaning of each bolded word and explain how we determined it.
will read the sentences before and after the bolded words on page 14, in the section “Penguin partners.” You will write the meaning of the word and explain how you determined its meaning in Independent Practice. (Student Independent Practice is provided below in Teacher and Student Materials.) Note: You will need to provide students with page 14 so they can use it for Independent Practice.
Build Student Vocabulary distance
|Tier 2 Word: distance|
|Contextualize the word as it is used in the story||Emperor penguins lay their eggs far from water. This distance gives chicks time to molt before the pack ice starts to melt.|
|Explain the meaning student-friendly definition)||Distance is the amount of space between two places.|
|Students repeat the word||Say the word distance with me: distance.|
|Teacher gives examples of the word in other contexts||The distance between here and the school nurse's office is not very far at all. The distance between our school and the post office is very far.|
|Students provide examples||What is the distance between your desk and the classroom door? Tell us about it by saying, “The distance between my desk and the classroom door is ___________ steps.”|
|Students repeat the word again.||What word are we talking about? distance|
|Additional Vocabulary Words||journey, estimate|
After reading about penguin colonies on pages 4-5, tell your class that penguins aren't the only animals that live in colonies. Explain that humans also create colonies. Colonies are groups of animals (humans included) that settle together far from home, sometimes in someone else's territory. Like penguin colonies, human colonies are places where groups of humans live, raise children, and hunt/grow for food together, when they are far away from their homeland.
Texts & Materials
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