Using the Context with Sticky Notes and Jot Chart

Using the Context with Sticky Notes and Jot Chart

Reading component  Vocabulary
Related Standard(s) of Learning

Overview of the strategy
The use of context is vital for determining the meaning of unfamiliar words so that the reader does not have to break the flow of the text by stopping and using a reference tool. Students should be  provided many opportunities to examine unfamiliar words in rich contexts that make use of synonym, definition, explanation, antonym, example, and inference types of clues. By using sticky notes to mark the unfamiliar words found during reading, students can return to these words after reading and determine their meanings if the meanings have not been revealed by subsequent context.

Strategy procedure
1.  Choose or write a text that features several unfamiliar words in a rich context. Model for the students by
reading aloud until arriving at an unfamiliar word. Guess a meaning for the word, write it on the sticky note,
and put it on the text near the word. Read the entire sentence or paragraph to include the clues.
2.  Assign the students to read in pairs or individually and mark the remaining unfamiliar words. Students should
also guess a definition for each word and record the definition on a sticky note.
3.  After the students have finished reading, make a list of all the words they found. Record the students’ guessed
definitions next to the words.
4.  Instruct the students to record the context words or phrases that help reveal the meaning of each word.
Discuss the types of clues, if appropriate.
5.  Have the students use reference tools to confirm or modify the meanings learned from context. Divide up the
list, if long, and have groups of students work on groups of words.
6.  Record the reference-source definitions on the chart.
7.  Instruct students to reread the text now that the previously unfamiliar words are known.


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