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.

Robert Louis Stevenson: Pirate Tales, Treasure Maps, and Monsters

Robert Louis Stevenson was born on November 13, 1850 in Edinburgh, Scotland. He was very sick as a child. He suffered from fevers and coughs which confined him to bed. His imagination kept him company. He loved listening to stories and dreaming up stories. Robert’s father wanted him to study…

The Gold Rush: Rise of the Golden State

California was forever changed the day James Marshall saw flakes of gold sparkling in the American River. Between the years of 1848 and 1855, the discovery of gold would inspire more than 300,000 people to move to California. This “gold rush” helped California to officially become a state. James Marshall…

The Deadly Desert Crossed

This passage is from The Road to Oz, a sequel to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. In this book, Dorothy meets new friends on her way to visit Oz again. The shaggy man is a wandering man that she and her dog, Toto, met in Kansas. Button-Bright is a little…

Rikki’s Ride

Rikki was a monkey. She was small, with light gray fur and a black face. She lived in the grassy, flat savanna with her family and friends. The savanna was in Africa, so Rikki often saw other animals playing, resting, and searching for food. Rikki was always hungry. She ate mostly leaves and seeds,…

Biography: George Washington

One of the greatest heroes of American history is George Washington, the leader of the Continental Army during the American Revolution and first President of the United States. This story is about his life. ————————————— George had shown that he could do the work of a man on the farm…

The Story of the Three Bears

Once upon a time there were Three Bears, who lived together in a house of their own, in a wood. One of them was a Little, Small, Wee Bear; and one was a Middle-sized Bear, and the other was a Great, Huge Bear. They had each a pot for their…

Here’s the Spin on Tornadoes

Over the years, movies and books have used tornadoes to sweep their characters off to magical lands, to destroy entire cities, or to defeat a superhero’s dangerous super villain. All of these tornadoes have one thing in common: they are incredibly powerful. Tornadoes are large, destructive columns of spinning air…

Primary Source: Spanish Flu Pandemic

The Oregonian is a daily newspaper in Portland, Oregon. It has been published daily since 1861. This is a newspaper article from The Oregonian published October 12, 1918. The flu epidemic is believed to have begun in late 1917 or early 1918. The U.S. had entered World War I on…

The Yosemite

Famed naturalist John Muir went with a group of shepherds into the Sierra Nevada mountains in 1869. The shepherds were taking their flock to summer pasture. It was Muir’s first trip into these mountains, and he would return many more times. This passage is from his diary of the trip.…

The Gift of the Magi

O. Henry, whose real name was William Sydney Porter, wrote the short story “The Gift of the Magi.” It was published in 1910. Below are the opening paragraphs of the story. ———————- One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved…