Monday, October 6, 2014

Kristy Litwiller’s Blog Post
October 6, 2014
Learning to Use Context Clues
 “What’s an ecosystem?” said Will.  “Hmmm….I’m not sure.” Replied Lindsey, tapping her chin.   “Let’s look at these pictures to see if we can figure it out!” Fatim smiled and answered back, “Let’s get started!” 
Last week, our third grade students learned how to use context clues during Reading using their Science vocabulary.  Students are taught that context clues are clues that good readers use to find the meaning of unknown words.  When children understand this strategy, it allows them to unlock the meaning of vocabulary words that are unfamiliar and strengthen their foundation for reading.
For this activity, the children were placed in five groups and circulated around the room viewing anchor charts, each with a different heading.  Students were assigned a job for each anchor chart to ensure the maximum potential of engagement in the activity.  They were instructed to read the question, and then review the pictures to create a sentence for each vocabulary word’s meaning.   The activity proved to be successful with students finding the meaning of the vocabulary words using their new context clues skills. They enjoyed collaborating with their team mates to complete their objective.
This particular lesson connects to me personally because science is an area in education that is near and dear to my heart.  I teach at the Morton Arboretum over the summer, and these specific science topics are part of our curriculum.  Using context clues to learn science concepts was exciting and interesting for children.  Children should be aware of the dynamics and complexity of how nature is organized and appreciate the beauty of everything that surrounds them. 

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