Demonstrate understanding that context clues (e.g., words and sentence clues) and text features (e.g., glossaries, illustrations) may be used to help understand unknown words.

Learning Outcome:

Use words, phrases, and strategies acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to literature and nonfiction texts to build and apply vocabulary.

I Can Statements Question Stems
-I can use context clues (words and sentence clues) to help me understand an unknown word.
-I can use text features (glossary, table of contents, index, captions, illustrations, headings) to help me understand an unknown word.

-Does the text have a glossary?
-How can a glossary help you understand unknown words?
-How can illustrations help you understand the text or unknown words?
-How can words and sentences in the story help you with unknown words?
-How do text features help you to understand the meaning of a word?
-Where can you look for clues to help you figure out unknown words?
-What sentence clues help you figure out the meaning of ______?
-What does the author mean when he says _________? How do you know?

Academic Vocabulary

context clue
text feature

Practical Examples, Standards, and Digital Resources

Reading Examples Writing Examples Speaking and Listening Examples
-During shared reading of a nonfiction text, create an anchor chart of the different nonfiction text features. Model and show the students how to use these features when reading nonfiction texts.

-While reading, when you come to an unknown word (assuming students would not know it) and ask students to use the context clues or illustrations to help you figure out the word and meaning.

-As students read nonfiction text independently or with a partner have them write down the bold print vocabulary words on sticky notes and then have them use the glossary to find the definition. Have students share the word, definition, and sentence from the text. -Create a chart with text feature categories. Students sort index card with words or pictures into categories. Encourage students to explain their reasoning why the put the item in the specific category. Ask the students if there are any that could be put into more than one category and why.
Reading Standards Writing Standards Speaking and Listening Standards
1.W.5  1.SL.2
Digital Resources

English Learner Considerations

The English Learner considerations, which were written by Indiana EL teachers, are meant to increase engagement and support growth for ELs.They are designed to support the standards and curriculum you are currently using. The following are recommendations of best practices to assist educators in making language more accessible for English Learners. Educators should adapt strategies based upon a student’s proficiency level and ensure that content is age-appropriate.

Additional strategies and the guiding principles regarding literacy instruction for English Learners.

Beginning Intermediate Advanced

-provide realia
-provide vocabulary picture sorts
-post word walls
-use visual representations
-pre teach matching strategies
-utilize pointing strategies
-use songs

-provide realia
-post word walls
-guide conversations
-use repetition
-pre teach matching strategies

-provide realia
-guide conversations
-post word walls as reference

Special Education Considerations

The special education considerations, which were written by Indiana special education teachers, are meant to increase engagement and support growth for students in special education. This is not an exhaustive list of strategies, but these supports will help you make literacy instruction more accessible for students. Remember to adapt these to the needs of your students and ensure that you are creating opportunities for all students to engage with rigorous content.

Guiding principles regarding literacy instruction for students in special education.

Strategy Examples

Introduce unknown words before students read text

Provide pictures of words and discuss meanings

Students draw pictures of vocabulary words

Act out the definition of the word

Provide a mnemonic device to remember the word and its meaning

Identify unknown words during independent reading

Model highlighting unknown words

Students use sticky notes or highlighters to identify unknown words

Model strategies of what good readers do when they encounter unknown words