Our Context lesson plan teaches students how to use context clues to define unknown words. Students practice finding words that they don’t know in magazines or books and using the context clues to define them.

Included with this lesson are some adjustments or additions that you can make if you’d like, found in the “Options for Lesson” section of the Classroom Procedure page. One of the optional additions to this lesson is to use the worksheets from the addition resources section of the lesson for extra practice and homework pages.

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What our Context lesson plan includes

Lesson Objectives and Overview: Context teaches students how to use context clues to define unknown words. This lesson is for students in 3rd grade and 4th grade.

Classroom Procedure

Every lesson plan provides you with a classroom procedure page that outlines a step-by-step guide to follow. You do not have to follow the guide exactly. The guide helps you organize the lesson and details when to hand out worksheets. It also lists information in the yellow box that you might find useful. You will find the lesson objectives, state standards, and number of class sessions the lesson should take to complete in this area. In addition, it describes the supplies you will need as well as what and how you need to prepare beforehand. To prepare for this lesson ahead of time, you can prepare snacks for the lesson opening, prepare sentences for the closing of the lesson, and copy the handouts.

Options for Lesson

Included with this lesson is an “Options for Lesson” section that lists a number of suggestions for activities to add to the lesson or substitutions for the ones already in the lesson. One optional addition to this lesson is to use the worksheets from the addition resources section of the lesson for extra practice and homework pages. Another optional addition is to ask students to identify the different types of context clues that they used for the practice and homework pages. You can also use a novel or other reading content for students to find unknown words to define using context clues.

Teacher Notes

The teacher notes page includes a paragraph with additional guidelines and things to think about as you begin to plan your lesson. This page also includes lines that you can use to add your own notes as you’re preparing for this lesson.



The Context lesson plan includes two pages of content. The lesson begins by having students imagine that an alien is sitting at your dinner table. You might not understand some of the alien words he’s using to talk to you, but based on the other English words in the sentence, you can probably figure it out! In this example, the alien word means cookies, which you can determine because of the rest of the sentence has context clues. When you use context clues, you use other words in a sentence to understand the meaning of an unknown word. You should be able to figure out the meaning of most unknown words by using context clues.

There are four main types of context clues that can help you figure out the meaning of a word you don’t understand. If you still can’t figure out what an unknown word means, you can use a dictionary. The lesson includes an example of each type of context clue described.

The first type are definition or rewording. With this type, the meaning of the word is located in the sentence, often after the word. The second type are synonyms, which is when the sentence uses a word similar to the meaning of the word. The third type are antonyms or opposites, which is when the sentence uses the opposite definition of the word. Finally, the fourth type are logical or example. With this type, there are either examples for the word in the sentence or you can use logic to find its meaning.


The Context lesson plan includes two worksheets: a practice worksheet and a homework assignment. You can refer to the guide on the classroom procedure page to determine when to hand out each worksheet.


For the practice worksheet, students will define the underlined words in the provided sentences. They will also circle the context clues they use to define each word.


The homework assignment asks students to write in a word that best fits each sentence based on the context clues and underlined definition in each sentence. They will then use a novel, magazine, or other written content to find unknown words that they will then define, also writing what kind of context clue helped them define each word.

Worksheet Answer Keys

This lesson plan includes answer keys for the practice worksheet and the homework assignment. If you choose to administer the lesson pages to your students via PDF, you will need to save a new file that omits these pages. Otherwise, you can simply print out the applicable pages and keep these as reference for yourself when grading assignments.

Additional information


3rd Grade, 4th Grade



State Educational Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.3.4.C, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.3.4.A, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.4.4.C, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.4.A

Lessons are aligned to meet the education objectives and goals of most states. For more information on your state objectives, contact your local Board of Education or Department of Education in your state.

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Glynnis W.

Great Resource

I love the materials provided for each step of the lesson. Great program!