The following worksheets will expand your students' vocabulary by teaching them how to use context clues.

Anyone that reads extensively has run into a situation where the author uses an unfamiliar word. While e-readers make it easy to select and look up new words, in many cases, its definition can be derived through context. Here is how I approach a new word: First, I always circle any word I am not familiar with. If I can break it into roots and prefixes or suffixes, I always do. I then look at what the sentence is driving at, I mean the main idea or thought being pushed to me (the reader). I then say the sentence aloud and guess at the meaning of the word. I finalize it by looking up the word in dictionary. This has served me well and I come across new words, to me, less and less. Being able to use this skill well will help you build a stellar vocabulary library as well as improve your reading comprehension. It is difficult to understand what you are expected to read if you are not sure what some words mean. Writers almost unconsciously make context available either in the same sentence or spread across the neighboring sentences.

In order to complete these worksheets, you will need to read each sentence that you are presented with completely and look for meaning of words that are often unfamiliar. Use the context clue technique we discussed above to better understand the meaning of the words and ultimately what you are reading. This collection of activity sheets will teach your students how to parse sentences and find corroborating information in order to define unknown words. Project idea: Have your students make up their own adjectives and use them in a sentence, providing enough context for a reader to define the made-up word.

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Print Context Clues Worksheets

Click the buttons to print each worksheet and associated answer key.

Words in Sentences

Read the sentence and choose the meaning of the underlined word.

Medium Words

These are more real world words, if you will. Follow the same procedure we have discussed to find their meaning.

Locked Sentences

Read it fully. You will basically be replacing words.

8 in a Pack

Do what you can to peel out these words. Try switching the words and see if the sentences make sense.

Marked Clues

Use the form of the leading words for this section. They will be your guide.

Flat Sentences

Put more into your sentence makers and see if you get what is meant be the use of each word.

What's It Mean?

Read each sentence. Use the context clues to help figure out the meaning of the underlined word. Fill in the circle for the correct answer.


Find out what word would best replace the word in the sentence, if you had to.

Bubble Fills

Which word is the meaning of the underlined word?

Clue Me In?

These are the more difficult words in this section.