Targeting Reading Skills with Small Group Instruction

Teachers who implement small group instruction activities understand the numerous benefits associated with working with a limited number of students. A few of the benefits include:

  • a reduced student-teacher ratio. Rather than trying to simultaneously meet the various needs of 30-some students at once, the teacher can focus on breaking down concepts based on the needs of 2-6 students.
  • targeted skill instruction. When a handful of students who are struggling with a certain skill are pulled aside, the teacher can provide in-depth instruction related to that particular skill.
  • individualized learning. When a teacher is focused on the needs of a small handful of students at one time, he or she can easily assess which aspects of a skill have been mastered, and which aspects will require additional learning opportunities and supports in order to eventually reach a level of mastery.
  • increased student engagement. In a large group setting, there will always be students who are able to mask their true understanding of a skill by "flying under the radar". However, when students are engaged in small group instruction, they are required to be actively involved in each lesson. Furthermore, students are often willing to ask more questions in order to clarify a confusing concept in a small group setting.
During my 16-year teaching career, I have often alternated between teaching large groups of students in a regular classroom setting, and teaching small groups of students in a smaller setting, often around a kidney-shaped reading table. Because of these varied experiences, I have found that very different resources are especially conducive to the very different settings. Whereas I often create PowerPoints to use in a large group setting, I use very targeted materials in small group settings.

Recently, I decided to spend a large chunk of time creating ELA resources that were specifically designed to be used in a small group setting. I named this line of resources "targeted tri-folds" because I tried very hard to zero in on isolated skills related to each topic. While creating each set, I envisioned the various students I worked with over the years, and considered the concepts they struggled with most as we covered each topic.

Small group instruction and targeted intervention is known to improve reading comprehension skills. Learn about my Targeted Tri-folds designed for upper elementary students and why teachers love it. These trifolds target ten different reading skills, including main idea, context clues, making inferences, author's purpose, and much, much more! Reading Comprehension

Each topic contains four separate booklets, as shown below:
Small group instruction and targeted intervention is known to improve reading comprehension skills. Learn about my Targeted Tri-folds designed for upper elementary students and why teachers love it. These trifolds target ten different reading skills, including main idea, context clues, making inferences, author's purpose, and much, much more! Reading Comprehension


CLICK ON EACH INDIVIDUAL SKILL TO VIEW THE MATCHING SET OF TARGETED TRI-FOLDS!

 

READ WHAT TEACHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT THESE TRI-FOLDS!

Small group instruction and targeted intervention is known to improve reading comprehension skills. Learn about my Targeted Tri-folds designed for upper elementary students and why teachers love it. These trifolds target ten different reading skills, including main idea, context clues, making inferences, author's purpose, and much, much more! Reading Comprehension

Small group instruction and targeted intervention is known to improve reading comprehension skills. Learn about my Targeted Tri-folds designed for upper elementary students and why teachers love it. These trifolds target ten different reading skills, including main idea, context clues, making inferences, author's purpose, and much, much more! Reading Comprehension

Small group instruction and targeted intervention is known to improve reading comprehension skills. Learn about my Targeted Tri-folds designed for upper elementary students and why teachers love it. These trifolds target ten different reading skills, including main idea, context clues, making inferences, author's purpose, and much, much more! Reading Comprehension

Small group instruction and targeted intervention is known to improve reading comprehension skills. Learn about my Targeted Tri-folds designed for upper elementary students and why teachers love it. These trifolds target ten different reading skills, including main idea, context clues, making inferences, author's purpose, and much, much more! Reading Comprehension

Small group instruction and targeted intervention is known to improve reading comprehension skills. Learn about my Targeted Tri-folds designed for upper elementary students and why teachers love it. These trifolds target ten different reading skills, including main idea, context clues, making inferences, author's purpose, and much, much more! Reading Comprehension


Exploring Compound Sentences

You might think I'm crazy, but I actually enjoy teaching about compound and complex sentences! I recently wrote a blog post that focuses on complex sentences at my collaborative blog, Upper Elementary Snapshots. (You can read that post by clicking HERE.) Therefore, I decided to write a related blog post, but concentrate on compound sentences!

An Anchor Chart

Compound Sentences Anchor Chart! This blog post also features a FREE printable where students write their own compound sentences.

When I use this anchor chart, I stress two things: the FANBOYS acronym and the use of the comma. Especially when working with older students, I point out that a comma is only used when a coordinating conjunction joins together two independent clauses. No comma is needed when a coordinating conjunction simply joins too words or two phrases. For example:

Max washed and dried all of the dishes.
I want to play soccer or kickball.  
She invited everyone to the party but me.
Grace is confident yet humble.
(No comma is needed because words are being joined, not independent clauses.)


Mom is making me clean my closet and organize my drawers.
Set the books on the table or on the bookshelf.
Joe is extremely talented yet somewhat arrogant.
(No comma is needed because phrases are being joined, not independent clauses.)


A FREE Activity

After going through the anchor chart, you can have students write their own compound sentences on this fan. If you want, you can have students make a craftivity out of it. After students write their sentences and you check them over, they can color the fans, cut them out, and glue them to a sheet of construction paper. Another option is to have students cut out the fans and glue it into an interactive language notebook. To download these free printables, click HERE. 

FREE Coordinating Conjunctions Craftivity- Help students remember the coordinating conjunctions by using the FANBOYS acronym. FREE Compound Sentences Craftivity- Help students remember the coordinating conjunctions by using the FANBOYS acronym.
                                 Front of Project                         Back of Project

If you are looking for additional resources for teaching about compound and complex sentences to your upper elementary students, feel free to check out the following resource. I have placed my bundle image here, but all of these items are also available for individual purchase in my TpT store.


Simple, Compound, and Complex Sentences Activities- a PowerPoint, task cards, a game, a craftivity, and more!

Thanks for stopping by!

Deb

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Punctuating Titles: An Anchor Chart and a FREEBIE

Do you teach students how to punctuate titles? It's a 5th grade standard (L.5.2.d), but in the past, I definitely touched on the more common rules (books, chapters, poems, songs, magazines, & articles) when I taught fourth grade, as well.

Today I am going to show you the anchor chart I created to address this standard. Before class, I will create the base of the anchor chart- a simple T-chart. I will be creating most of the anchor chart during class with students. (I used clip art images that are free on TPT, just in case you want to replicate this anchor chart. To obtain the pie clip art, visit Kari Bolt's store. To download the free computer and pencil clip art, visit Tim van de Vall's store.)
Punctuating Titles Anchor Chart | Part of a free lesson that includes a free sorting activity! Use this anchor chart activity and freebie to teach your students about when to underline titles, when to italicize titles, and when to place titles inside quotation marks.

Once class begins, I will ask my students to help me fill in the anchor chart. First, I will tell my students that when it comes to punctuating titles, there is a guiding question they can ask themselves that will help them punctuate the majority of titles: Is this a WHOLE literary work, or is this a PART of a literary work? I'll explain that whole, complete literary works are underlined, while partial literary works are placed inside quotation marks. Next, I'll list associated pairs (book and chapter, for example), and I'll have students tell me in which column each literary piece should be written.
Punctuating Titles Anchor Chart | Part of a free lesson that includes a free sorting activity! Use this anchor chart activity and freebie to teach your students about when to underline titles, when to italicize titles, and when to place titles inside quotation marks.

After we've listed all of the titles that follow the whole vs. parts guideline, I will tell my students that there are a few items that need to be added to the column of titles that need to be underlined. After switching to a green marker, I will add the additional four items to the bottom of that column. Likewise, I will add a couple items to the bottom of the quotation mark list. These items written in green don't really follow the whole vs. parts rule, and simply need to be memorized.

To complete the anchor chart, I will tell my students that there is one more important rule they need to remember, and it's related to the two images at the bottom of the anchor chart. After allowing 1 or 2 students to make a guess, I will jot the final rule on the anchor chart. When the anchor chart is complete, it will look like this:
Punctuating Titles Anchor Chart | Part of a free lesson that includes a free sorting activity! Use this anchor chart activity and freebie to teach your students about when to underline titles, when to italicize titles, and when to place titles inside quotation marks.

If you don't have time to make the anchor chart, you might want to consider purchasing my Punctuating Titles PowerPoint. Slides 4 through 16 take the students through a similar part vs. whole exercise. It also makes the same point about italicizing instead of underlining when you are using a keyboard. Furthermore, it concludes with 17 practice sentences.
Punctuating Titles PowerPoint! This PowerPoint teaches students when to underline, when to italicize, and when to use quotation mark. It includes a companion handout!

Whether you choose to use the anchor chart or the PowerPoint, be sure to download this FREE PRINTABLE by clicking on the image below! I plan to use it as a quick exit ticket. This sorting activity will allow you to check for understanding.
Punctuating Titles FREEBIE- Grab this sorting activity that can be used as an exit ticket! Students differentiate between when to underline/italicize titles, and when to put titles in quotation marks.

Thanks for stopping by! 



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Punctuating Titles Free Lesson| This lesson includes an anchor chart idea and a free sorting activity! Use this anchor chart activity and freebie to teach your students about when to underline titles, when to italicize titles, and when to place titles inside quotation marks.


An Adverbs Read Aloud and FREE Activity!

Hello! It's my turn to write today's blog post at Upper Elementary Snapshots, my collaborative blog. I blogged about my experience helping my daughter grasp the concept of adverbs. That blog post features an adverbs anchor chart and free follow-up activity, so I encourage you to take a moment to hop over there and check it out! (At the bottom of this post, you'll find a link that will transport you directly to the blog post containing the anchor chart.)

Before you check it out, though, I have one additional adverbs activity that I want to share with you. When I was researching adverbs, I found this AMAZING picture book that focuses on adjectives and adverbs! I don't know about you, but I love reading picture books to upper elementary students, especially when they help me target a specific skill in an engaging way! (Full disclosure: This blog post contains an Amazon affiliate link.)

The Book Introduction

The book I found is called The Big Problem (and the Squirrel Who Eventually Solved It): Understanding Adjectives and Adverbs by Nancy Loewen.
Use this read aloud to teach your students about adverbs and how they are used in sentences! This blog post contains an adverbs lesson idea and free printables!

It is somewhat hard to see in these photographs, but the author used a red font on every single adjective in the book, and a green font for each adverb.
Use this read aloud to teach your students about adverbs and how they are used in sentences! This blog post contains an adverbs lesson idea and free printables!

Use this read aloud to teach your students about adverbs and how they are used in sentences! This blog post contains an adverbs lesson idea and free printables!


HOW I INTEND TO USE THE BOOK IN A GRAMMAR LESSON!

This book presents the perfect opportunity to help students understand why an adverb is an adverb. The adverbs are already identified, leaving plenty of time to analyze each sentence and determine which word is being modified by each adverb, and how it is modifying the other word.

I recommend printing the two printables (shown below) back-to-back, so that it's on one sheet of paper, and then handing out a sheet to each student. 
Adverbs recording charts! Use these charts along with a read aloud book with plenty of adverbs.

I intend to use the document camera to project the book so that every student can read the pages along with me (silently) as I read them aloud. At the end of each page, identify the adverbs, one at a time, and have your students name the chart to which the adverb belongs. To do this, they must identify which word is being modified by the given adverb, and whether that word is a verb, adjective, or other adverb. If the word is a verb, they must also determine how that adverb is modifying the given verb. 

When you have finished the book, your  students' papers should look like this: 
Use this read aloud to teach your students about adverbs and how they are used in sentences! This blog post contains an adverbs lesson idea and free printables!

Teach your students about adverbs and how they are used in sentences by reading the book The Big Problem by Nancy Loewen. This blog post contains an adverbs lesson idea and free printables!
One of the things I love about this book and activity is that it shows that many adverbs do not end in -ly! Also, students are required to truly analyze the use of each adverb in the sentence! Furthermore, this book can also be used to identify adjectives... but that's another blog post! :)

If you happen to be looking for a few more ready-to-go adverb resources to use in your classroom, feel free to check out my TpT store. The image below shows the materials I created for teaching students about adverbs. If you click on the image, you'll be taken to the bundle in my store. From there, you can also check out each individual adverb resource, as well.



Have a great day!



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Use this read aloud to teach your students about adverbs and how they are used in sentences! This blog post contains an adverbs lesson idea and free printables!

Teaching about Story Conflict

Whether students know it or not, chances are good that they already have a basic understanding of story conflict. After all, you can't accurately discuss a book's plot without describing the conflict happening within a book. However, naming the various types of conflict might be new to your students. Today I'm going to share some ideas with you for teaching your students about the types of conflicts in literature. (Disclosure: Amazon affiliate links are included in this blog post.)

AN ANCHOR CHART

Let's begin with an anchor chart! I am a huge fan of anchor charts, so I created a conflict anchor chart that you can share with your students. As you can see, I color-coded it to help students focus on the fact that three of the conflicts are external, and only one type is internal. Also, I chose to use the image of the angry girl to stress that conflicts in stories are rather unpleasant, especially at the point at which the conflict is revealed. Interestingly, my daughters (a 7th grader and a 5th grader) watched me design parts of this anchor chart, and they both asked me (at different times) why I used the image of a girl who was angry. I explained my thought process, but they both told me that they didn't care for my image choice. I'd be curious to know... what's your opinion on the image? If nothing else, one benefit is that it ignited a great discussion about story conflict that we wouldn't have otherwise had.

Types of Conflict Anchor Chart
Would you like to replicate this anchor chart? Grab the image for free at Chirp Graphic's TpT store!

IDENTIFYING EXAMPLES OF CONFLICT IN LITERATURE

Analyzing published books and identifying each book's primary conflict is essential for students learning about literary conflict. Therefore, I sat down and compiled a few examples of books that can be matched to each type of conflict. (Keep in mind, however, that some of these books have more than one type of conflict within its overall plot.) The images below show my suggestions for each type of conflict.

Person vs. Person Book Examples- This blog post contains a conflict anchor chart, as well!
  • The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies- Siblings Evan and Jessie begin a lemonade stand war, both vowing to earn more money than the other.
  • Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk- Annabelle's life is pretty quiet until Betty Glengarry moves into town. At first, Betty only bullies Annabelle, but soon Betty targets a World War I veteran, as well. When Annabelle sees how Betty treats Toby, she can't remain silent any longer.
  • Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein- Kyle Keely is racing to win Mr. Lemoncello's game. In order to win, though, he must beat his conniving archnemesis, Charles Chillington.


Person vs. Nature Book Examples- This blog post contains a conflict anchor chart, as well!
  • Hatchet by Gary Paulsen- Brian Robeson finds himself alone in the Canadian wilderness after he is the lone survivor following a plane crash. He must figure out a way to survive until help arrives.
  • Zane and the Hurricane: A Story of Katrina by Rodman Philbrick- Zane is visiting relatives in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hits. He is separated from his family, but meets a young girl and an elderly musician. The three work together to survive the disaster.
  • Night of the Twisters by Ivy Ruckman- Dan and his friend Arthur must first survive the tornado ripping their town into shreds, and afterward they must make their way through the rubble to find their family members.


Person vs. Self Book Examples- This blog post contains a conflict anchor chart, as well!
  • Ida B by Katherine Hannigan- When Ida's mom is diagnosed with cancer, she is no longer able to homeschool Ida, and Ida has to start attending "mind-numbing" school. Ida feeling betrayed as she struggles to accept the changes happening in her life. 
  • Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt- Ally is good at math and art, but she has always struggled with reading. She behaves negatively at times to mask her reading difficulty. Things start to finally turn around for Ally when she meets a supportive teacher along with two classmates who have some struggles of their own.
  • The Only Game by Mike Lupica- Jack is the best pitcher on his 7th grade baseball team. However, he quits after the first practice of the season. He blames himself for an earlier tragedy involving his older brother. Everyone in town thinks baseball is what Jack needs to help him move on, but Jack doesn't agree.


Person vs. Society Book Examples- This blog post contains a conflict anchor chart, as well!
  • Ruby Lee and Me by Shannon Hitchcock- The year is 1969, and Sarah's best friend is Ruby Lee. The trouble is that Ruby Lee is black and Sarah is white. The school is set to be integrated next year, and the first African American teacher has been hired. Tension is high as Sarah tries to navigate through the complex issues of her rural Southern town.
  • A Night Divided by Jennifer Nielsen- Greta used to live with her entire family in East Berlin, but her family is split apart when the Berlin Wall is erected overnight, while her father and brother are visiting West Berlin. Greta can't help but dream of freedom in the West, even though those types of thoughts are forbidden. Years pass, and Greta is resentful. She is thinking about risking her life in order to live a life of freedom.
  • Among the Free by Margaret Peterson Haddix- This is the author's final book in the Shadow Children series. In this book, Luke accidentally sets off a rebellion that results in the overthrow of the government. The people are finally free, but there are still plenty of questions.


AN ACTIVITY IDEA

You may choose to use the list I've provided in a number of ways, but this is the activity I would do because it keeps everyone engaged. I would write the numbers 1 through 4 on sticky notes, and then place each sticky note on one quadrant of the anchor chart (1 in Person vs. Person, 2 in Person vs. Nature, etc.) Then I would tell my students that I'm going to show them a book and read a brief summary. As they are listening to the summary, they need to determine the type of conflict that is being revealed. After I've finished reading the summary, I'd allow students a moment to turn to a partner to discuss their answer. Then, when I say "Reveal your answer", students hold up the number of fingers that correspond with their chosen answer.



If you are looking for additional resources for teaching conflict to your upper elementary students, feel free to check out the following resource. I have placed my bundle image here, but all of these items are also available for individual purchase in my TpT store.
Types of Conflict Resources- a PowerPoint, task cards, posters, a craftivity, partner plays, and more!


Thanks for stopping by today! 

                                           



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Teaching Story Conflict: This blog post includes an anchor chart idea plus several published examples of each of the four main types of story conflict.


Fostering a Growth Mindset: Viewing Constructive Criticism as Helpful Feedback

Let's face it... it's not easy to receive constructive criticism! No matter your age, it can be difficult to hear that you did something incorrectly, or that something you were proud of isn't quite as perfect as you first thought it was! However, that's what we expect our students to do daily. Helping students to learn how to respond to these comments with a growth mindset is a worthwhile undertaking, as it is an ability they will be able to use throughout their lives. Today, I am going to share a lesson that you could use to introduce this concept to students. This lesson would work best after students have a basic understanding of the difference between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset.
FREE Growth Mindset Lesson: Help students understand the difference between criticism and feedback with this growth mindset activity.

Step 1: Share a real-life personal experience.

If you're like me, you have no shortage of real-life experiences that you could talk to your students about. We know that students love to hear stories about our lives outside of school, so here's an example I might share with students:

Friends, let me tell you about my evening yesterday. Technically, it all started yesterday morning. I set my alarm so I would wake up super early, because I wanted to have time to try a new crockpot recipe I had found. I woke up, chopped vegetables, and threw all of the ingredients into the crockpot just like the recipe directed. Then I started the crockpot, and got ready for school. As I was driving to work yesterday morning, I felt sooooo proud of myself!

When I got home from school last night, I walked into my house, and it smelled so good! I was thinking about how nice it was to have dinner already made, and how I was going to do this more often. Unfortunately, though, my good vibes were crushed an hour later, when the rest of my family tried my meal. First, Brooke announced that it was too spicy. Then, Kayla stated that she wished she had some rice to eat with it. Then, Troy said it was good, but the chicken was a little overdone, and he asked if I knew how to operate the crockpot's timer so that it could start cooking later.

Let me tell you... I felt some anger and resentment bubble up inside of me when I heard everyone's comments! Here I had gotten up early while everyone else was still sleeping to make this dinner. Rather than acting appreciative, though, everyone in my family was complaining!! I was about to tell my family that I didn't appreciate their criticism, when it hit me. Their remarks weren't necessarily critical. They were actually just giving me feedback... their ideas for what would make this meal even better if I decided to make it again. There was no need for me to feel angry and offended.

Step 2: Ask student volunteers to share a similar experience.

Ask: Has anything similar ever happened to you? Have you ever worked hard on something, only to have another person tell you that it could actually be done better? 

It usually doesn't take much prompting to convince students to share their own experiences of receiving criticism. However, if they need a few prompts, ask students to think about comments made by parents, teachers, coaches, older siblings, etc.

Step 3: Define criticism and feedback.

Write criticism and feedback on the board, and tell students that one word is closely associated with fixed mindset beliefs, and the other is more closely associated with growth mindset beliefs. After having students predict the associations, take time to discuss how the words are similar and different. Criticism and feedback are similar in that both involve one person stating their opinion or response about another person's work. The main difference between the two words, however, is closely related to how the receiving person chooses to interpret the statements. People who choose to view the remarks as criticism will get defensive, and will likely start thinking fixed mindset thoughts like "This is too hard" or "I want to give up". On the other hand, people who view the remarks as feedback will start thinking growth mindset thoughts like "This person is trying to help me" or "That's a really good point! I'm going to try that!".

Step 4: Empower your students.

Discuss the many pros of viewing remarks as feedback, and the cons of viewing remarks as criticism. I tell my students that they will be responding to other people's opinions about their work throughout their lives, and if they can learn NOW how to view these comments as feedback as opposed to criticism, it will truly help them lead happier lives. I love anchor charts, and I believe this is a perfect opportunity to make an anchor chart like the one below with your students. You and your students may choose different ways to phrase the statements, but this one gives you a general idea.
Growth Mindset Anchor Chart: Help students understand the difference between criticism and feedback.


Up to this point in the lesson, there has been a lot of discussion, and now I'm ready to give students an opportunity to work with the concept on their own. I display two scenario cards for students (using the document camera), and distribute the response sheets. Students read one of the scenarios, and then write what they would tell their classmate to help him or her view the comments as feedback instead of criticism. If they finish and still have time, they can complete the other scenario in the same way.  

Step 5: Revisit the topic throughout the year.

At the end of this lesson, I tell my students that if they find themselves in a situation where they have to choose whether to view others' remarks as feedback and criticism, I would love to hear about how they handled the situation. In addition, bring it up during your own classroom lessons. For example, before beginning writing conferences, you might say, "I'm going to be conferencing with students today on their personal narrative rough drafts. I am hopeful that you will all choose to view my comments as helpful FEEDBACK, and not negative criticism."

If you're looking for ready-to-go resources that will help you teach your students about effective growth mindset methods, I invite you to check out my Growth Mindset PowerPoint! It includes five worksheets plus directions on how to split the PowerPoint into a 5-day unit. 
Growth Mindset PowerPoint and worksheets. This file includes directions on how to split this PowerPoint into a 5-day mini-unit... perfect for back-to-school time. Five growth mindset worksheets are also included!


Looking for more Growth Mindset tips? I have teamed with several 2nd-6th grade bloggers to create this Growth Mindset Roundup of ideas. Hop around to the different blogs and check out the great tips!





Context Clues: Read Alouds with FREE Printables!

As a teacher of English Language Learners, I always spend quite a bit of time each year focusing on context clues. I feel that it's essential to teach students how to use clues within the sentence and in surrounding sentences to "crack" the meaning of an unknown word. I use a detective theme, and students always respond well to this analogy. They enjoy "putting on their detective hats" and "solving the mystery" regarding an unknown word. 

Today, I decided to share two published books that I like to use as mentor texts when I am teaching about context clues. One is perfect to use with students in the younger grades (2nd-3rd), and the other is better suited for students in 4th, 5th, and 6th grade classrooms. (Full disclosure: this blog post contains affiliate links.)
FREE Context Clues Lessons! These two books are perfect for practicing how to use context clues when reading!  There is a free worksheet with each book!

Context Clues Mentor Text: Middle Elementary

The picture book Baloney (Henry P.) by Jon Scieszka is perfect for students in 2nd and 3rd grade classrooms. In this book, the main character is an extraterrestrial named Henry P. Baloney. He is late for school and has to scramble to come up with an excuse for his teacher. 
FREE Context Clues Lessons! This book is perfect for practicing how to use context clues when reading!  A free worksheet is available, too!

What makes this book so fun, though, is that Henry uses his own language as he makes up an outlandish excuse for his teacher. In creating Henry's language, Jon Scieszka uses words from 17 languages on Earth (plus a spoonerism and a couple transpositions). The result is sentences like "...which made me exactly seven minutes late this aamu."
FREE Context Clues Lessons! This book is perfect for practicing how to use context clues when reading!  A free worksheet is available, too!

When I read this book with students, I like to have them try to use context clues to determine the meaning of each foreign word. When I turn to a new page, I do not show them the illustrations right away. First, I read the page, and then ask the students if they can figure out what each unknown word means. Sometimes, it is impossible to decipher the meaning of the unknown words without looking at the illustrations (zimulus on the page above provides an example of this). Other times, the word is a cognate (like deski), making it easy to predict. Finally, there are words where students can use context clues found in the rest of the sentence or surrounding sentences (like torakku and szkola) to determine the word's meaning.

I created this handout to use with this book. I place it below my document camera, and we record our thoughts as we progress through the book. 
FREE Context Clues Lessons! The book Baloney is perfect for practicing how to use context clues when reading!  Use this free worksheet along with the book!   FREE Context Clues Lessons! The book Baloney is perfect for practicing how to use context clues when reading!  Use this free worksheet along with the book!

Note: The image on the right shows the answer key. Keep in mind, though, that the last column may vary, based on your discussion with your students. For example, the word fracasse requires some deep thinking, and will likely be difficult for your students to figure out on their own. You might decide to go directly to the glossary to find the definition for this word. Personally, I would try to help guide my students through the clues given by the author. (For example, you might remind them that at this point in the book, the astro guys are furious with Henry because he just insulted them and destroyed their raygun. The author says that the astro guys made a new plan to fracasse Henry's school. What might they want to do to Henry's school if they are angry?)


Context Clues Mentor Text: Upper Elementary

The chapter book The Get Rich Quick Club by Dan Gutman lends itself to creating a fun context clues lesson for students in 4th, 5th, and 6th grades. In this book, one of the supporting characters, Quincy, is from Australia. She uses Australian slang phrases often, and it's super fun to try to use context clues to decipher what she's actually saying! 
FREE Context Clues Lessons! This book is perfect for practicing how to use context clues when reading!  A free worksheet is available, too!

As you can see below, Dan Gutman provides translations in the form of footnotes at the bottom of each page.
FREE Context Clues Lessons! This book is perfect for practicing how to use context clues when reading!  A free worksheet is available, too!

I created the handout below to use with Chapter 2 of this book. I begin the lesson by telling students that we have an unusual, yet fun way to practice using context clues today! It involves reading a few chapters from this book. I explain that I will read a few pages aloud before starting the context clues activity. Then, I open up the book and start reading from the beginning of the book. (You'll likely succeed in enticing a few of your students to read the entire book on their own!) However, if you're running short on time, you can start at page 7, where Chapter 2 begins. When you reach page 11, distribute the handout. Tell your students that the rest of the pages in this chapter have similar phrases said by Quincy, and you will be stopping at the end of each page to give them time to use context clues, and then record their predicted translations on the lines. I suggest doing the first one together as a class.
FREE Context Clues Lessons! The book The Get Rich Quick Club is perfect for upper elementary students who are reviewing context clues! Use this free worksheet along with the book!      


I hope you and your students enjoy these two mentor text lessons! If you're looking for additional context clues activities, be sure to check out this blog post, where I share a free interactive lesson! Also, feel free to take a look at the resources I have available in my TpT store. I've displayed images of my two bundles below, but all of these activities are available for individual purchase as well.


A Context Clues Bundle designed especially for students in 
2nd and 3rd grade:

A Context Clues Bundle designed especially for students in 
4th, 5th, and 6th grade: