Teaching vocabulary is not always dry and dull; however, it certainly can be at times. Try employing a lesson using context clues to spice the lesson up a bit.
1. The teacher will hand out the Mad Libs assignment to the class. The students will be given approximately five to seven minutes to complete the Mad Libs, and they will be instructed to follow the directions exactly, so that they do not see the words surrounding the blanks.
2. Students will be broken up into groups and asked to share their Mad Libs assignments with one another.
3. A discussion will ensue in which the following questions are asked:
- How many of your stories made sense?
- Why do the stories not make sense?
- What are some ways this story could make sense?
4. The teacher will distribute the paragraphs with blanks to the class. However, this time, the students will be instructed to guess the missing word based upon the words around it. Students will have approximately seven to ten minutes to complete this portion of the lesson.
5. Once all of the students have completed the assignment, distribute the paragraph as it was written without the missing words. Ask students to compare the words that they used with the words that were actually used.
6. A discussion ensues in which the following questions are asked:
7. A brief lecture ensues in which the teacher describes how students can use this method with words that they do not know. Even though there was no word, the students could figure out what should be there based on the clues around the space. Therefore, if students do not know a vocabulary word, they can use the words around it to decipher it.
8. Homework: Ask students to create their own paragraphs with missing words. They should have a copy with the correct words too. The next day, students will have other students fill in the blanks.
Like many lesson plans, this one can be tweaked in order to fit your individual needs. However, this model is a framework for you to use in its entirety or to take bits and pieces of to create a lesson plan on context clues that is appropriate for the students in your class.
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