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If a child can't learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.

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This week we focused on context clues and author’s purpose.   The students were able to learn the meanings of several unknown words by finding the context clues.  They were challenged to find their own examples in the books they were reading.  We determined that context clues can be in the form of synonyms, antonyms, definitions, a list of examples, and written clues to help them make their own conclusion on the meaning of the word. The student’s also learned that authors all write with a different purpose in mind.  Some authors write to persuade, some to inform and many write to entertain. One student wrote his interpretation of this lesson.

BY: Itamar

Do you like P.I.E? I am positive that authors love P.I.E. Not the ordinary kind of pie that you can eat, sorry kids, it is something that makes it so that you can define what the author is trying to tell you. P.I.E stands for…

Persuade

Inform

Entertain

http://www.flickr.com/photos/judybaxter/1217062932/

If it is a fiction book, like Harry Potter, it is very possible that it is a book that the author intends to entertain the reader. Entertainment can consist of stuff like violence, comedy, problems, and stupidity. Now that you know a bit about P.I.E, let’s talk about how I came by it and also how P.I.E relates to  author’s purpose. We were in class and then our teacher told us we were going to learn about the author’s purpose. Meanwhile, our technology teacher wrote P.I.E on the board and then we started learning. We talked about it and then we found out what it stood for. Then we thought what the application was after an author was done writing a book. This goes very well on author’s purpose because usually their purpose intertwines with the application. Some authors write a book for popularity, fame, or easy money, while others do it so they can delight their reader, or just clear their head. Sometimes authors reflect their application in their book, although, not directly, of course. When you are writing something just to persuade the reader about something, it usually means that they just want you to do that thing. If they inform you, then they wish for you to know what’s going on. To show that we understood, the teachers asked us to look at the books we were reading and then we would say what category they fit in. Mine fit in the inform category. It was a really exciting lesson which will help me in the future!

The students each wrote their own explanation of context clues for homework.  Here are a few samples of their work.

BY: Jonah
My understanding of context clues is when I was reading the book Fantastic Mr. Fox, it said that the farmer, Bunce, was squat.  I didn’t know what squat meant, so I looked for context clues.  I read that Bunce’s chin could touch the shallow end of any pool, so I guessed that squat meant little.  And guess what?  It did!
BY: Gil
I understand that context clues help you with the definition of a word or phrase. Context clues can come in different formats such as examples, exact definitions, adjectives, and synonyms and  antonyms. If a word is new to the reader, sometimes context clues MAY help you understand it a little bit better. Sometimes context clues are scattered throughout the sentence or paragraph. Those are the tips I have for you about context clues.
BY: Zoe
Context clues are different clues that help you figure out the meaning of a word. Context clues can be the words around the word, you have no idea what it means that help you figure out the meaning of it. I think context clues are very important and I use them a lot when I am reading. There are five different context clues. They are synonym, definition, example, antonym, and inference. They all help a lot. I use inference the most when I am reading.An example would be the word equestrian. If a sentence says “The equestrian went riding around on his horse,” how would you know what it means? First, you look for the clues. I found inference. The key word in this sentence to finding out what equestrian means is horse. Horse helps you figure out what it means because you now know it is a person, and the person has something to do with horses. So it would be horseback rider. It is very simple and easy of you think about. That is what I know about context clues!
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