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Context Clues Worksheets

When you encounter a vocabulary word with which you are unfamiliar, what do you do?  Use the context clues to determine the word’s meaning.

I have created context clues worksheets to help my students in the classroom. I am sharing them with you in the hopes that they will help you as well. The words have been selected from texts recommended by Common Core. These context clues worksheets have been divided into three levels:


Level One

These are the easiest context clues worksheets. These worksheets were designed to help struggling students or students in lower grades. They were written to help students reading at a 3rd to 6th grade reading level. Be sure to preview all materials before using them in your classroom.

Context Clues Worksheet 1.1 – This level one context clues worksheet covers 12 words that may be challenging for beginning readers. Students determine each words meaning based on context and then explain their answers.
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Context Clues Worksheet 1.2 – Twelve more context clues problems for students with beginning reading skills.
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Context Clues Worksheet 1.3 – Here are twelve more vocabulary words used in context rich sentences. Determine the meaning of the word based on its use and explain your answer.
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Context Clues Worksheet 1.4 – This is another double-sided context clues worksheet. Remember, level one is the easiest. If you are looking for more challenging context clues worksheets, keep scrolling down this page.
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Context Clues Worksheet 1.5 – This worksheet will give your students more practice with context clues. Keep it up!
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Context Clues Worksheet 1.6 – Yet another context clues worksheet to help students master this essential reading skills. Determine the meaning of the bolded word based on context and explain your answer.
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Context Clues Worksheet 1.7 – This is the seventh level one context clues worksheet. If you or your students can handle this task, perhaps it’s time to move to level two.
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Level Two

These worksheets were designed for students with intermediate reading and vocabulary skills. They are written for students reading at a 5th to 8th grade reading level.

Context Clues Worksheet 2.1 – These worksheets contain vocabulary and use sentence structures that are more difficult than level one context clues worksheets.
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Context Clues Worksheet 2.2 – Here are twelve more moderately difficult problems. Students read each sentence and determine the meaning of the bold vocabulary words by using cross sentence clues.
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Context Clues Worksheet 2.3 – Here is another level two context clues worksheet. It contains twelve problems with context rich sentences. Students use the cross sentence clues to determine the meaning of the bolded word and explain their answers.
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Context Clues Worksheet 2.4 – Were you looking for more practice with context clues? Look no further. Here is another double-sided activity sheet with twelve problems.
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Context Clues Worksheet 2.5 – Here is another level two context clues worksheet with twelve problems to help you or your students master this essential reading skill.
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Context Clues Worksheet 2.6 – This is the sixth context clues worksheet in level two. As with the others, it is double-sided and contains twelve problems.
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Context Clues Worksheet 2.7 – Here is another level two context clues worksheet. If you or your students can complete this one, perhaps it is time to move to level three.
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Level Three

These are the most difficult context clues worksheets. These were designed for students with advance reading and vocabulary skills. These worksheets may be appropriate for students reading at an 8th to 12th grade level.

Context Clues Worksheet 3.1 – Twelve challenging problems where students figure out the bold word’s meaning based on the context of the sentence. Students also demonstrate higher order thinking skills by explaining their answers.
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Context Clues Worksheet 3.2 – Twelve more challenging problems where students use cross-sentence clues to determine the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary words.
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Context Clues Worksheet 3.3 – Here is another level three context clues worksheet. It has 12 challenging vocabulary words in context rich sentences. Determine the meaning of the word based on the context and explain your answer.
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Context Clues Worksheet 3.4 – Another twelve problem context clues worksheet. Identify the meaning of the bolded vocabulary word based on the cross sentence clues. Explain your answers.
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Context Clues Worksheet 3.5 – Just in case you didn’t have enough practice with context clues, here is another double-sided worksheet. There are some real head scratchers on this one, but the context rich sentences will help you determine the meanings of the bolded words.
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Context Clues Worksheet 3.6 – Yet another context clues worksheet. Remember, level three worksheets have the most challenging vocabulary terms. If this is too tricky, you may want to take it back to level two.
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Context Clues Worksheet 3.7 – This is the seventh level three context clues worksheet. Students who correctly complete this have mastered the skill of using context clues to determine the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary words.
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What are Context Clues?

Context clues are hints in the sentence that help good readers figure out the meanings of unfamiliar words. When we look at the “context” of a word, we look at how it is being used. Based on how these words are used, and on our knowledge of the other words in the sentence, we make an educated prediction as to what the challenging vocabulary word may mean.

Example of Using Context Clues

Examine this line from Lewis Carroll’s poem, “Jabberwocky”:

The frumious Bandersnatch!

Though neither “frumious” nor “Bandersnatch” were words before Carroll coined them, readers are able to get meaning out of the construction based on how the words are used. A reading of the whole poem is helpful way to introduce context clues to your students.

Common Core State Standards Related to Context Clues

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.6 – Analyze how an author develops and contrasts the points of view of different characters or narrators in a text.

Expand to View All Common Core State Standards Related to Context Clues
ELA Standards: Literacy

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, distinguishing literal from nonliteral language.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including those that allude to significant characters found in mythology (e.g., Herculean).

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language such as metaphors and similes.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of rhymes and other repetitions of sounds (e.g., alliteration) on a specific verse or stanza of a poem or section of a story or drama.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4 -Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone).

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful. (Include Shakespeare as well as other authors.)

ELA Standards: Informational Text

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.4 – Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 3 topic or subject area.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.4 – Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words or phrases in a text relevant to a grade 4 topic or subject area.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.4 – Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.7.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.8.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language of a court opinion differs from that of a newspaper).

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze how an author uses and refines the meaning of a key term or terms over the course of a text (e.g., how Madison defines faction in Federalist No. 10).

View Source
Common Core Lesson and Unit Plans
Understanding Common Core State Standards

 

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122 Comments

  1. karen sparks

     /  April 28, 2016

    Love these, but I have a question–what is “garbage pizza”? I told the students I thought it was a typo for garden. I’m referring to the sheet with the word “detest.”
    Thanks for these! Terrific resources!

    Reply
    • That’s a great question. “Garbage pizza” is an idiomatic metaphor that is used in Chicago, and perhaps other places as well. It means pizza that has all of the available toppings on it.

      Reply
      • Cat

         /  May 6, 2016

        Thank you for the clarification! LOL I thought that was what it was. 🙂

        Reply
  2. Marty M.

     /  April 4, 2016

    My students love your context clues worksheets, and so do I. Thank you so much for creating them. They rock!

    Reply
  3. kim sama

     /  March 15, 2016

    thank it will help me for my exam i am really thankful god bless

    Reply
  4. Hoangthu Le

     /  March 4, 2016

    Thank you so much for sharing such precious materials useful for my teaching in reading lessons. I really appreciate it. Thanks again!

    Reply
  5. Maureen

     /  March 4, 2016

    Great Resource! Thank you!

    Reply
  6. Danielle

     /  March 1, 2016

    I love the variety that your site offers. I run a remedial 8th grade program and you have worksheets for almost every standard for my students. Your site is an awesome resource for teachers!!

    Reply
  7. Kevin Edmunds

     /  January 18, 2016

    Great resources. Your choices of vocab are well-made and varied. Great for South Africa where our pupils exposure to good English is very limited.

    Reply
  8. Wendy

     /  October 2, 2015

    Love you Mr. Morton 🙂

    Reply
  9. jennifer

     /  September 25, 2015

    the 1.3 answers aren’t working this morning… 🙁

    Reply
  10. Lisa Kwan

     /  June 2, 2015

    These are SO helpful! I was at a loss in figuring out how to teach reading skills, and these are just wonderful! Thank you 😀

    Reply
  11. AB

     /  April 23, 2015

    Great information especially the context work sheets.
    Works well on a HS level too.

    Reply
  12. jeffery

     /  April 21, 2015

    very good resorces

    Reply
  13. Barbara

     /  February 27, 2015

    I love, love, love this site. Everything Reading and Language Arts is right here! Would love to see more on symbolism in literature for 4-7th grade. But all in all, oh the hours saved!

    Reply
  14. Zohura

     /  February 12, 2015

    Thanks for sharing this excellent resources. It is very helpful for my kids. God bless you…

    Reply
  15. Roxanne

     /  January 21, 2015

    Thank you so much for all of your hard work. This is my first year teaching ELA and your site has been a God send. You will never know how much you have helped me to reach my students. Thanks again!!!

    Reply
  16. Donna Hawkins

     /  January 6, 2015

    Thanks! What an excellent resource. I will certainly share this with the department.

    Reply
  17. cici kaesi

     /  December 19, 2014

    Thank you!!

    Reply
  18. T. Favors

     /  November 5, 2014

    Thanks for the large amount of practice!! It really helped my students with this practice.

    Reply
  19. Mrs. Lott

     /  October 1, 2014

    Thank you!! It is rare to find worksheets for free these days that fit the common core and are useful.

    Reply
    • I’m working hard to create new materials specifically designed to meet Common Core grade level standards. It’s a big task, but I should have some progress posted by the new year. Thank you for visiting and taking the time to comment.

      Reply
  20. Chris Butner

     /  July 21, 2014

    Seriously, this site is the gift that keeps on giving. I love incorporating your materials as springboards for my lessons. Thanks!

    Reply
    • I’m so happy to hear that.
      I’m going to add 15 context clues worksheets to this page over the next week.

      Best wishes and come back soon.

      Reply
  21. Calvin Golson

     /  April 30, 2014

    Thank you for all of the awesome content!!!! You Rock.

    Reply
  22. Tammy

     /  March 25, 2014

    You are an absolute savior! Your worksheets help my students with learning disabilities very much. I love how the materials are designed according to reading levels. Thanks so much! I am sharing your site to my teacher friends and they love it too!

    Reply
    • I love hearing stuff like this, Tammy.
      It inspires me to continue.

      Best wishes,
      you’re doing good work.

      Reply
  23. agusalim

     /  November 29, 2013

    It is great to develop my students’ vocabulary. Thanks a lot.

    Reply
  24. allura

     /  October 16, 2013

    Thanks! This was super helpful for my students

    Reply
  25. Mike

     /  September 18, 2013

    Are all these worksheets on your site geared towards a specific grade level? For example, the Text Structure worksheet?? This site is pretty cool. Will make my life a lot easier considering I am teaching a 4/5 combo class this year.

    Reply
    • I’ve used these materials with my 7th and 8th grade students in the West Side of Chicago. I’ve learned that standards of what is appropriate and what is not vary greatly by region. Read all materials carefully before giving them to younger children and modify them as necessary. Best wishes!

      Reply
  26. Shyam Sunder Rajaram

     /  September 5, 2013

    Great stuff! Invaluable, indeed.

    Reply
  27. Katrina Summers

     /  August 10, 2013

    I loved the worksheets. They will be great to use for modeling, guided practice, independent practice, and assessment! Thanks so much!

    Reply
  28. Jeanette

     /  August 1, 2013

    Thank you for these worksheets! They have really helped me in brushing up on my skills before a test!

    Reply
  29. Hector A

     /  July 16, 2013

    Thank you, what an excellent site for resources. Simply amazing. Highly beneficial to any student and a big help for Instructors.

    –Thanks!

    H.

    Reply
  30. Yolanda

     /  April 12, 2013

    Thank you for the worksheets! They have come in handy helping my students master using context clues. It has taken some of the work off of my hands, that I appreciate the most! Keep adding and I will keep coming back!

    Reply
  31. Sarah

     /  April 9, 2013

    Thanks for these worksheets. They’re great!

    Reply

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