Unlocking the world of words context clues and word parts

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  • Reading Strategies Workshop

  • Questions???How many of you have more than five uninterrupted hours a day to devote to reading?

    How many of you always understand every word you read?

    How many of you have/use a cell phone?

  • PURPOSE Affects Reading Rate! Factors that Affect Reading RateYour reading purposePrior knowledgeYour interest levelComplexity of material

    Learning Reading Rate100-200 words per minuteAverage Reading Rate200-350 words per minuteCasual Reading Rate350-600 words per minute

  • WittgensteinThe limits of my language mean the limits of my world.

  • If language creates our understanding of the worldProbably the one activity that will most improve your vocabulary is reading.One important skill you need to develop is figuring out the meaning of words you do not know from the context of the reading itself.

  • To Be the Best WORD DETECTIVE You Can BeIdentify your purposeIdentify your previous knowledge Preview the readingPredict what you will learn and pose questions.In other words, find your TOPIC and MAIN IDEA and turn the MAIN IDEA into a question.

  • Practice: Purpose: please read following paragraph to determine the authors main point/idea.Previous knowledge: What experience do you have with childhood friends? Preview and Predict: With a quick scan, identify what you think the paragraph might be about. Attempt to determine topic and ask a guiding question

  • Childhood FriendsYesterday, when I went to the osmotle to buy some wattish for dinner, I saw a slampfer I knew when I was 10 years old. He smiled and was very ovish to see me, but I was amvish to see him because I had some bad dosilums from the last time I had seen him. We exchanged flabruations, and it seemed as if the previous montafottapottafell was no longer an issue. Happily, we parted chrits with a promise to schgrop again sometime in the future. Practice Paragraph for Context

  • What the what?!Based on the paragraph on the slide before, please use context clues to define what the following words could be:osmotle wattish slampfer Ovishamvish dosilums flabruations montafottapottafell chrits to schgrop

  • There are FOUR types of Context CluesFour types of context clues:Definition and synonym cluesExample cluesGeneral Information cluesContrast clues

  • Definition and Synonym CluesSynonym: A word that has a similar meaning to another wordClues:Between or after commasAfter certain words (is, are, means, refers to, consists of, is called, that is, etc.)Between dashesIn parentheses

  • Sometimes you can figure out the meaning of a word because you understand the examples or because both a definition and examples are provided in the reading.

    Example Clues

  • General Information CluesOften you can understand an unfamiliar word because you already comprehend the rest of the information in the surrounding sentence or group of sentences.

  • Contrast CluesContrast Clues:butin contrast toalthoughon the other handhoweverunlike

  • Directions: Next to each word on this list indicate the following by marking either a 1,2,or 3 in the first blank to the right of the word.1 I dont know this word2 I think I know the meaning of this word3 I can define this wordindolent ___ ___alfresco ___ ___canopy ___ ___donnybrook___ ___antagonists ___ ___posthaste ___ ___

    CONTEXT CLUES practice again

  • It was a gorgeous day in late October, and because I was sure this would be one of the last great days before the onset of winter, I was feeling extremely indolent and unwilling to work. So I called my friend Jeanne and asked her to play hooky from her job too and go out to lunch. We decided to dine alfresco at a little Italian caf in our neighborhood. As we were sitting under the striped canopy enjoying our meal, a donnybrook broke out at a nearby table. The antagonists were a group of teenage boys who were evidently also playing hooky that day. Because this tussle ruined the serene and peaceful mood of our day, we asked for the check and left the caf posthaste.

  • Can you define the words below based on the context clues in the story?


  • Indolent wanting to avoid activityAlfresco taking place outdoorsCanopy covering of cloth held with polesDonnybrook a public brawl or disputeAntagonists one who opposes or contends against anotherPosthaste as fast as possible

  • An EASY Way to Remember Context CluesContext clues often appear in the following places:The sentence with the unknown wordThe sentence beforeThe sentence after

  • But What if I Cannot Figure Out the Meaning of the Words from CONTEXT CLUES?!!

  • Never fear! WORD PARTS are here!

    (apologies to Edvard Munch)

  • If language creates our understanding of the worldProbably the other activity that will most improve your vocabulary is exposure to new words. (see AWL list at end)One important skill you need to develop is figuring out a strategy for when you encounter (yay!) new words, such as the strategy of using word parts.

  • Word Parts ActivityDirections: -Please get into groups and assign each person a number 1-4.-Please have assigned members go to envelopes that correspond with number and pull out a secret piece of paper. -Follow instructions on paper, and the group who comes up with the most examples wins!

  • WORD PARTSPrefix: Changes the meaning of the root.Root: Carries out the main meaning of the word. A word usually has at least one root.Suffix: Changes the way a word is used in a sentence.

  • Prefixes

    Number prefixesMeaningExample 1Example 2Mono-OneMonotonousuni-OneUnifyBi-Two or TwiceBiweeklyTri-ThreeTriangleQuad-FourQuadraticMulti-ManyMultipurposePoly-ManyPolygamySemi-Half, PartSemicircleDec-TenDecade

  • Prefixes

    Negative or Negation prefixesMeaningExample 1Example 2Ab-Away from, fromAbnormalContra-Against ContradictDe-Reverse, undoDeactivateDis-Apart from, Reversal ofDisapproveIl-NotIllegibleIm-NotImmortalIn-NotIncompleteUn-NotUnimportantMal-Bad, wrongMalfunctionMis-wrongMistake

  • Prefixes

    Time prefixesMeaningExample 1Example 2PostAfter, behindPostponePreBeforePrefixProtoFirstPrototypeReagainrewrite

  • Prefixes

    Place or Position prefixesMeaningExample 1Example 2CircumAroundCircumferencePeriAroundPerimeterCoWith, togetherCooperateColWith, togetherCollaborateComWith, togetherCommunicateConWith, togetherConnectSymWith, together, similarSympatheticSynWith, together, similarSynonymEnIn, put intoEncloseEOut, fromEvadeExOut, fromExpelInterBetween, amongInternationalSubFollow, under, belowSubmarineTeleFar off, distantTelepathyTransAcross, overtransfer

  • Other Common Prefixes

    prefixesMeaningExample 1Example 2BeneGood, wellBenefitHyperOver, excessiveHyperactiveProIn favor of, forwardprogress


  • Suffix SaladSuffix Meanings Sample Words and Definitions -able able to be excitable, portable, preventable -ac pertaining to cardiac, hemophiliac, maniac -acity (-ocity) quality of perspicacity, sagacity, velocity -ade act, action or process, product blockade, cavalcade, promenade, -age action or process passage, pilgrimage, voyage -aholic (-oholic) one with an obsession for workaholic, shopaholic, alcoholic -al relating to bacterial, theatrical, natural -algia pain neuralgia, nostalgia, -an (-ian) relating to, belonging to Italian, urban, African -ance state or quality of brilliance, defiance, annoyance -ant a person who applicant, immigrant, servant inclined to, tending to brilliant, defiant, vigilant -ar of or relating to, being lunar, molecular, solar a person who beggar, burglar, liar -ard a person who does an action coward, sluggard, wizard -arian a person who disciplinarian, vegetarian, librarian -arium (orium) a place for terrarium, aquarium, solarium -ary of or relating to literary, military, budgetary -ate state or quality of (adj.) affectionate, desolate, obstinate makes the word a verb (different pronunciation) activate, evaporate, medicate -ation action or process creation, narration, emancipation -ative tending to (adj.) creative, preservative, talkative -cide act of killing homicide, suicide, genocide -cracy rule, government, power bureaucracy, aristocracy, theocracy -crat someone who has power aristocrat, bureaucrat, technocrat -cule diminutive (making something small) molecule, ridicule, -cy state, condition or quality efficiency, privacy, belligerency -cycle circle, wheel bicycle, recycle, tricycle -dom condition of, state, realm boredom, freedom, wisdom -dox belief, praise orthodox, paradox -ectomy surgical removal of appendectomy, hysterectomy -ed past tense called, hammered, laughed -ee receiver, performer nominee, employee, devotee -eer associated with/engaged in engineer, volunteer -emia blood condition anemia, hypoglycemia, leukemia -en makes the word a verb awaken, fasten, strengthen -ence state or condition, action absence, dependence, negligence -ency condition or quality clemency, dependency, efficiency -ent inclined to performing/causing, or one who performs/causes competent, correspondent, absorbent -er more bigger, faster, happier action or process flutter, ponder, stutter a person who does an action announcer, barber, teacher -ern state or quality of eastern, northern, western -escence state or process adolescence, convalescence -ese relating to a place Chinese, Congolese, Vietnamese -esque in the style of Kafkaesque, grotesque, burlesque -ess female actress, heiress, lioness -est most funniest, hottest, silliest -etic relating to (makes the word an adj.) athletic, energetic, poetic -ette diminutive (makes something smaller) cigarette, diskette, kitchenette -ful full of helpful, thankful, cheerful -fy make, cause (makes the word a verb) amplify, falsify, terrify -gam/gamy marriage, union monogam, polygamy -gon/gonic angle hexagon, polygonic, pentagon -hood state, condition, or quality childhood, neighborhood, motherhood -ial relating to celestial, editorial, martial -ian relating to Martian, utopian, pediatrician -iasis diseased condition elephantiasis, psoriasis -iatric healing practice pediatric, psychiatric, -ible able to be audible, plausible, legible -ic/ical relating to, characterized by analytic/al, comic/al, organic -ile relating to, capable of agile, docile, volatile -ily in what manner sloppily, steadily, zanily -ine relating to canine, feminine, masculine -ing materials bedding, frosting, roofing action or process dancing, seeing, writing -ion action or process celebration, completion, navigation -ious having the qualities of, full of ambitious, cautious, gracious -ish relating to, characteristic apish, brutish, childish -ism state or quality altruism, despotism, heroism -ist a person, one who does an action artist, linguist, pianist -ite resident of, follower, product of suburbanite, luddite, dynamite -itis inflammation, preoccupation appendicitis, tonsillitis, frontrunneritis -ity state, condition, or quality abnormality, civility, necessity -ive inclined to; quality of; that which attractive, expensive, repulsive -ization act or process of making colonization, fertilization, modernization -ize cause, treat, become antagonize, authorize, popularize -less without fearless, helpless, homeless -let version of booklet, droplet, inlet -like resembling, characteristic childlike, homelike, lifelike -ling younger or inferior duckling, underling -loger/logist one who does astrologer, cardiologist, chronologer -log speech dialog, monolog, -ly in what manner badly, courageously, happily -ment action, result movement, placement, shipment -ness state or quality (makes a noun) kindness, shyness, weakness -oid resembling humanoid, tabloid, hemorrhoid -ology study of, science of anthropology, archaeology, biology -oma tumor, swelling carcinoma, osteoma, hematoma -onym name, word synonym, antonym, homonym -opia eye defect myopia, nyctalopia, hyperopia -opsy examination biopsy, autopsy, necropsy -or a person who inventor, legislator, translator -ory relating to armory, dormitory, laboratory -osis process, diseased condition diagnosis, prognosis, neurosis, psychosis -ostomy/otomy surgical colostomy, lobotomy, craniotomy -ous full of hazardous, humorous, wondrous -path one who engages in homeopath, naturopath, psychopath -pathy feeling, diseased sympathy, apathy, neuropathy -phile one who loves bibliophile, audiophile, pyrophile -phobia abnormal fear of acrophobia, claustrophobia, xenophobia -phone sound homophone, telephone, microphone -phyte plant, to grow zoophyte, cryptophyte, epiphyte -plegia paralysis paraplegia, quadriplegia, hemiplegia -plegic one who is paralyzed paraplegic, technoplegic, quadriplegic -pnea air, spirit apnea, hyperpnea, orthopnea -scopy/scope visual exam arthroscopy, gastroscopy, microscope -scribe/script to write transcript, describe, manuscript -sect to cut dissect, insect, bisect -ship state or condition of, skill of authorship, citizenship, friendship -sion state or quality confusion, depression, tension -some characterized by, group of cumbersome, quarrelsome, foursome -sophy/sophic wisdom, knowledge philosophy, theosophy, anthroposophic -th state or quality depth, length, strength -tion state or quality attention, caution, fascination -tome/tomy to cut hysterectomy, epitome, tonsillotome -trophy nourishment, growth atrophy, hypertrophy, dystrophy -tude state, condition or quality fortitude, gratitude, magnitude -ty state, condition or quality ability, honesty, loyalty -ular relating to or resembling cellular, circular, muscular -uous state or quality of arduous, tumultuous, virtuous -ure action, condition closure, erasure, failure -ward specifies direction backward, eastward, homeward -ware things of the same type or material hardware, software, kitchenware -wise in what manner of direction clockwise, lengthwise, otherwise -y made up of, characterized brainy, fruity, gooey

  • Putting it all together?Priceless. Although, it also helps to know how parts of speech work.

  • RememberPrefix = affects the meaning of the root.Root = carries the meaning of the word.Suffix = determines the way the word is used in a sentence.

  • A Final TipMake your book work for you!Textbook Aids and Specialized VocabularyTextbooks usually explain specialized vocabulary (words that relate to a specific academic discipline) when it is introduced. They may contain the following aids:Boldfaced print that emphasizes words when they first appearDefinitions in the margins of the reading itselfKey words and concepts sections at the end of the chapterVocabulary questions in the chapter reviewsGlossaries at the end of the chapter and/or at the end of the book

  • Putting it all TogetherContext CluesDefinition and synonym cluesExample cluesGeneral information cluesContrast clues

    Word Parts PrefixesRootsSuffixes

    Four Main Parts of SpeechVerbsNounsAdjectivesAdverbsDictionary SkillsParts of dictionary entriesFinding the correct dictionary meaning from the context of the reading

    Textbook Aides and Specialized VocabularyRecognizing textbook vocabulary aidsOrganizing a system for learning specialized vocabulary