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Three Activities for Context Clues

Three Activities for Teaching Context Clues

We just released the free Word Meaning Warm-Ups, and they’re focused on context clues and vocabulary development. The great thing about the warm-ups is that there are three highly engaging activities students work through.

In this quick post, I’ll share the three activities in the context clues warm-ups:

  1. Context Matching
  2. Word Matrix
  3. Weekly Quiz

You’re also invited to dig deeper into the free word meaning warm-ups and these strategies for teaching context clues.

Context Matching

Context matching is an easy to follow activity that allows students to learn new words and apply them in new contexts. It follows this simple sequence:

  • Explanation of context clues with visuals.
  • Direct instruction of new words.
  • Visual support.
  • New word in a sentence.
  • Students using context clues to determine the word that best matches a sentence.
  • Immediate feedback on the context clues practice.

Students will need pencil and paper.

Word Matrix

Word matrices can get really complex or can be very simple. A word matrix show morphology in a visual format. It breaks down a base word, prefixes, suffixes, inflected endings, and roots.

In this word matrix activity, students will:

  • Receive a quick reteach of how word parts can change word meanings.
  • Read and write a word matrix.
  • Use the word matrix to create words that match the context of a sentence.
  • Receive immediate feedback.


The weekly quiz is designed to help students in three ways:

  1. Independent practice of tier 2 words.
  2. Spiral review of context clues skills.
  3. Recapping skills and knowledge from earlier in the week.

It may be advantageous for students to chart their scores on the weekly context clues quizzes. However, the quizzes should not be used for progress monitoring purposes.

Have Questions?

If you have questions about the warm-ups, please leave a comment below, and we’ll be glad to help you out!

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4 responses to “Three Activities for Context Clues”

  1. Jill

    We just used the new context clue warm-ups, and they were challenging for my 3rd-graders. The students had fun and I think the students going do great after a few days using them!!!

    1. Matt

      Thanks for the comment, Jill! I’m glad your students enjoy the new word meaning warm-ups. It’s good to hear that the 3rd-graders were challenged…the vocabulary is designed for upper elementary!

  2. rstacy123

    Hello. Is there a way to print out the activities to go with each of the word study warm-ups?

    1. Admin

      The only printout is with the Fluency Builder – there is a student page for progress monitoring. Apart from that, the word study warm-ups are all digital and no-prep.

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