I don’t think I can defend it as a word students must know, but since it popped up as Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day on a morning when I felt like writing one, I can offer you this context clues worksheet on the adjective nonpareil. In addition to describing a certain kind of confection (“a small flat disk of chocolate covered with white sugar pellets” or “sugar in small pellets of various colors”–in other words, think of Nestle’s Sno-caps at the movie theater), this worksheet, using context, uses the definition “an individual of unequaled excellence” and “paragon.”
If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.