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 familar 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.
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.