Tag Archives: context clues

The Weekly Text, 26 August 2022: Concrete (adj), Abstract (adj)

This week’s Text is a context clues worksheet on the use of concrete as an adjective. For the purposes of the context of the sentences here, students are looking for a meaning of “characterized by or belonging to immediate experience of actual things or events,” “specific,” “particular,” “real,” and  “tangible.”

Opposing concrete, both in this post and in meaning, is this context clues worksheet on the adjective abstract. The sentences in this document provide context for an understanding of the definition of this word as “disassociated from any specific instance,” “difficult to understand,” “insufficiently factual,” : “expressing a quality apart from an object <the word poem is concrete, poetry is ~>,”  “dealing with a subject in its abstract aspects,” and “having only intrinsic form with little or no attempt at pictorial representation or narrative content.”

These are obviously important learning words across domains of knowledge–and particularly in the humanities. I cannot imagine teaching poetry, to offer one obvious example, without students understanding fully the meanings of these two words–and what they represent in the use of language.

If you find typos in these documents, 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.

Havoc (n)

Here is a context clues worksheet on the noun havoc, which means “wide and general destruction” “devastation,” and “great confusion and disorder.” The context clues in this worksheet point to both definitions, so students will very likely figure this out quickly.

Interestingly, while researching this post, I learned that havoc also has use as a transitive verb meaning “to lay waste” and “destroy.” Havoc is often used with active verbs like cause and of course the always dependable wreak–although please beware that contentious debate has broken over the past tense (wrought or wreaked?) of this verb.

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.

Glitch (n)

Here is a context clues worksheet on the noun glitch. It means “a usually minor malfunction,”  “a minor problem that causes a temporary setback,” and “a false or spurious electronic signal.” The context clues in this sentence point mostly to the first two definitions; the first sentence on the worksheet–“Arleny’s phone has developed a glitch that causes a delay in the delivery of text messages”–might, with some revision, supply context for the first definition.

Parenthetically, would you be surprised to hear this word comes to the English language from Yiddish? It does sound like it might; in Yiddish, glitsch means “a slippery place”; the verb glitshn means “to slide, glide.” Enough said.

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.

Fraternize (vi)

Here is a context clues worksheet on the verb fraternize. It means “to associate or mingle as brothers or on fraternal terms,” “to associate on close terms with members of a hostile group especially when contrary to military orders,” and “to be friendly or amiable.” The context clues in the sentences in this worksheet point to the first and third of these definitions, the middle definition not at all. I thought trying to include that would make the worksheet a bit too busy. Also, I remember thinking the middle definition might require its own set of context clues sentences, and might be best pegged to a lesson where the definition comes into play.

Also, this is one of those verbs used only transitively. So don’t bother with your direct object; you don’t need it.

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.

Feign (vi/vt)

Here is a context clues worksheet on the verb feign, which is used both intransitively and transitively. Intransitively, it means “pretend” and “dissemble.” Transitively, and it is this definition toward which the context clues in this document point, it means “to give a false appearance of,” “induce as a false impression,” “to assert as if true,” and, again, “pretend.”

I would think this is a word students ought to know before they graduate high school. But what do you think?

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.

Fabricate (vt)

Here is a context clues worksheet on the verb fabricate. This verb is used only transitively. It means–and this is where the context clues on this document point–“invent,” “create,” “to make up for the purpose of deception,” “construct,” “manufacture,” “specifically to construct from diverse and usually standardized part.”

I’ll stipulate that this is not a high-frequency word in English. But if you have students interested in entering any kind of trade, particularly welding (the first class I too after high school), this is word they should know.

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.

Envision (vt)

Here is a context clues on the verb envision. It is used only transitively and means–as the context clues in the sentences in this document point towards–“to picture to oneself.”

And that is pretty much it–other than, perhaps, a mild argument that this is a word students should know before they graduate high school.

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.

Cultural Literacy: Attila the Hun

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on Attila the Hun. This is a half-page worksheet with a three-sentence reading and three comprehension questions. This is a good general introduction to Attila, but to appreciate fully the wide swath he cut through history, and the consequences of it, you will probably need to dig a little deeper than this document does.

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.

Envisage (vt)

Here is a context clues worksheet on the verb envisage, which is only used transitively–so don’t forget your direct object. The word itself means “to view or regard in a certain way,” and  “to have a mental picture of especially in advance of realization,” which are the definitions this worksheet’s context clues aim to elicit from students.

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.

Enamor (vt)

The only thing that accounts for this context clues worksheet on the verb enamor in my folders is that it must have been the Word of the Day at Merriam-Webster at some point. My crowd does tend to use the word a good deal, but I can’t say with any certainty that it is a commonly used English word. You won’t be surprised to hear, owing to the presence of the Latinate root amor, that this verb means “to inflame with love — usually used in the passive with of “; less, well, passionately, enamor can also mean “to cause to feel a strong or excessive interest or fascination — usually used in the passive with of or with <baseball fans enamored of statistics>.”

In any case, it is used only transitively. Don’t forget your direct object, and nota bene, as above, that on generally uses of or with to precede the direct object of enamor.

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.