Context Clues

Context clues are hints or definitions that a writer uses in the text to help the reader understand the meaning of new or unfamiliar words. These clues can appear within a sentence, a paragraph, or in other areas of a passage. Want to learn more about Context Clues? Here’s a refresher on the different types of context clues.

A Surprise Message

Eli walked to school every day. When the final bell rang, he walked home, too. His trip took him across the playground, past the t-shirt factory, and across the main street. From there, Eli often cut through a vacant lot where a house used to be. The house burned down years…

The Robin and the Cardinal

One April day, after a long, soaking rain, Cardinal poked his head out from under the evergreen branches to see if he would get wet or stay dry. When he didn’t feel any drips, he hopped down to the ground, using the tree branches like a spiral staircase. Cardinal ordinarily…

The Bumblebee

One day, Ella opened her back door and looked out. She wanted to go to play outside, but there was a large bumblebee flying around. He was bigger than her thumb, and very fuzzy. She could hear the humming of his wings as he made large figure-eights across the patio. Carefully,…

The Long Nap

Ella never liked to take naps. When she was a baby, she would stay wide away all afternoon, playing with toys in her crib. Her mother told her that Ella could only sleep when it was dark outside, no matter how dark and thick the curtains were in her room.…

The Big Mistake

Jeremy likes to help his family with chores. He spends time playing with his baby sister while Mom cooks dinner. After supper, he dries the dishes for Dad. But Jeremy’s favorite job is feeding Fletch. Fletch is the family cat. He is brown and black, with tiger stripes across his back.…

The Long Walk

Jimmy loved ice cream. It was his favorite dessert. He wanted to eat ice cream all the time. His parents let him have a small dish each night after dinner, if he ate all of his vegetables. At home, Jimmy usually had chocolate or vanilla. His mother scooped it out…

A Pirate’s Life for Me

Most babies’ first words are something like “Dada” or “Mama” or “ball.”  Mine was “Ahoy!” But that was considered normal when you’re born and raised on a pirate ship. My father was the first mate on the fearsome sailing ship known as the Salty Dog. He was the trusted friend…

Ethan’s Bike Ride

Ethan sat on his bike. He held tight to the handlebars and pedaled fast. When he got to the end of the driveway, he turned around. He squeezed the brakes and stopped in front of Mom. “See? I never fall any more. Can I ride to the park on my…

Primary Source: The 1896 East St. Louis Tornado

On the afternoon of May 27, 1896, a Category 4 tornado hit St. Louis, Missouri and East St. Louis, Illinois. It is the third deadliest tornado in U.S. history, and one of the rare ones to hit a large urban area. Below is a report from The Illinois State Journal…

Primary Source: Comanche, the Army Horse and Hero

On June 25, 1876, the U.S. Army 7th Calvary under the command of Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer engaged in battle with Native Americans, including the Lakota, the Dakota, and the Arapaho tribes.  The army troops were vastly outnumbered. All the soldiers with Custer when the battle began, totaling five…