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 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…

Mary Chesnut: The Firing on Ft. Sumter

Mary Boykin Miller Chesnut (1823-1886) was a prominent woman from South Carolina. Her husband, James Chesnut, was a U.S. Senator before the Civil War. Well-educated, intelligent, and well-connected, Mary understood, as the Civil War began, she had a front row seat to a historic moment in history. She began recording…

Hurricanes, Typhoons, and Cyclones: A World of Difference

Have you ever been watching when a tv weatherperson points to a large, white spiral of storm clouds spinning over the Earth on their video screen? If so, then you’ve gotten a small look at what the most powerful storm in the world looks like: a tropical cyclone. Tropical cyclones start as…

Sarah Plants a Seed

At breakfast, Sarah saw that her mother was wearing overalls. That meant that she was planning to work in the garden. “What are you planting today?” asked Sarah. “Today I will plant radishes and carrots,” answered Sarah’s mother. “Would you like to help?” Sarah was happy. She wanted to learn more…

Madison Dreams Big

Madison stared through the window and watched a puffy white cloud pass over the woods across from the school. A solitary bird glided, wings stretched, across the sky and seemed to pierce the cloud. It must be wonderful to be a bird, she thought. Just fly across the sky without…

Hallowe’en in America

The Book of Hallowe’en was published in 1919 and described Halloween customs around the world. This passage is about how the holiday was celebrated then. —————————————————- While the original customs of Hallowe’en are being forgotten more and more across the ocean, Americans have fostered them, and are making this an…

Emma’s Big Game

Emma was very excited. Today was the championship baseball game! The winners would all get trophies and be the number one players in the town. Emma was determined to bring home a trophy to put on her shelf. She had never won a trophy before. She put on her red…