Subject: ELA (English Language Arts), ESL/ELL (English Language Learning)

Lesson Length: 30 - 45 mins

Topic: Context Clues

Grade Level: 3, 4, 5, 6

Standards / Framework:


Brief Description: Students will practice using context clues to determine the meaning of an unknown word.

Know Before You Start: This lesson can be used as an introduction to context clues or a review.

Hook: Read and discuss the first two panels of the comic. Remind students that they can use context clues to help figure out the meaning of unknown words.


  • Have students read panels three through six. 

  • Independently or with a partner, have students look for the context clues in order to define the vocabulary words shown in all CAPS.

  • You may choose to model using sentence frames that are applicable for your students’ language level. E.g., "The clue _____ tells me that ____ means _______."

  • Extension - have students choose a vocabulary word and create a comic panel that includes a context clue. It helps if they choose words from a dictionary that no one in the class will be able to guess without clues.

Closure: Encourage students to use context clues while they're reading to determine the meaning of unknown words.

Differentiation: Create your own lesson comic adapting the sentences to be more complex or simple as needed.


  • Comic to print or display: Comic.

  • Online or print dictionaries for the extension activity.

  • Make your own comic with your avatar, and/or student avatars to increase engagement.