Tag: PowerPoint Lessons

Strategies for Teaching Context Clues

Introducing Context Clues

By turning the study of context clues into game-like activities, students will learn techniques for figuring out new words. Games make the lesson fun and less of a challenge. I like to begin my study with one of the following activities:

  • Mystery Objects ~ Place objects into lunch-sized brown paper bags. Call on one student to describe the contents of the bag while others in the class try to guess what the object may be. I usually do this with four to five objects. Follow this activity by discussing how this activity is similar to figuring out unknown words in a sentence.
  • Cloze Activity ~ Provide sentences with one word missing. Turn completing the sentences into a competition by allowing students only a minute or two to complete the missing words. See which student can fill in the most blanks in the specified amount of time. End the activity with a discussion of how students were able to know what the missing word should be. Compare this activity to coming across an unfamiliar word while reading.

Examples of Cloze Sentences:

On the _________________ we had a picnic and watched the fireworks.

Martha had to stay in bed when she had a ____________ of 102.

  • Baloney is a fun book to introduce context clues.

Activities to Teach Context Clues

Hang an anchor chart up in the classroom with types of context clues and key words for each type. Here is the one I used in my classroom.

Context Clues Anchor Chart

This PowerPoint contains 17 cloze sentences. Students will see one sentence at a time which contains a missing word. A word bank is provided for students to complete the sentence. Students first look for clue words in the sentence. With one click of the mouse, the clue words are highlighted. [See the second slide below.] This makes a great beginning activity in your context clues study. You can download this PowerPoint by clicking on one of the images below:

Free Context Clues PowerPoint

Free Context Clues PowerPoint Here is a second PowerPoint you can download to use in your classroom. In Part 1 of this PowerPoint, students learn about different types of context clues, in Part 2 students practice with affixes, and in Part 3 resources for looking up unfamiliar words are discussed.

Free Word Study PowerPointHere is a printable handout that goes along with the PowerPoint:

Context Clues Graphic OrganizerAdditional Resources to Teach Context Clues

Context Clues on Pinterest


Context Clues Unit at Teachers Pay Teachers


Gay Miller

Permanent link to this article: http://bookunitsteacher.com/wp/?p=1024

Show, Don’t Tell

Show, Don’t Tell

The Show, Don’t Tell method of writing is when the writer is able to create a picture in the reader’s mind. 

  1. Details

    One key element of this method is the use of details.


The girl went to the beach.
Sally went to Ocean Isle Beach.
Last summer, young Sally went to Ocean Isle Beach on the coast of North Carolina with her family.
During the hottest part of the summer, ten year old Sally went to Ocean Isle Beach on the coast of North Carolina with her parents and two younger sisters.
  1.  Rich Vocabulary

    A second element is the use of rich vocabulary. The writer gets away from the repetition of empty words like went, big, or said and instead uses rich descriptions which makes the reader feel as if s/he is part of the story. Click on the mini poster below to receive a pdf version you may display in the classroom.

 Said is Dead Poster

Here is the anchor chart that I completed with my students to help them think about using more descriptive words:

Descriptive Words Anchor Chart

  1. Action Words

    Another important aspect of Show, Don’t tell is the use of action words, thoughts, senses, and feelings. One helpful way for students to understand this concept is to read selections from favorite books. Here is a PowerPoint with several selections from Where the Red Fern Grows. Click the image to download to the PowerPoint.

Show, Don't Tell PowerPoint Presentation

Online Resources

Some online resources for Show, Don’t Tell include:

Gay Miller


Permanent link to this article: http://bookunitsteacher.com/wp/?p=285

Using PowerPoint ~ Teacher Evaluations Part 1

Using PowerPoint to increase scores on Teacher Evaluations ~ This blog post contains links to two PowerPoint presentations as well as the printables needed for those twolessons.

In the past couple of years, teacher evaluations have become more and more stressful. I admire teachers who can perform under pressure with ease. Since I am not one of those teachers, I have come up with a number of gimmicks [for lack of a better word] to help me remember the one hundred or so components that must be included in an evaluation lesson. I will discuss some of these ideas in a series of posts. Here is the first Using PowerPoint.

Using PowerPoint

Once you begin making PowerPoint presentations with your lessons, you will wish you had started years ago. Moving from one task to another becomes easy with instructions, examples, and a number of other lesson elements posted in the PowerPoint for the class to see. Even a simple PowerPoint with text only can prompt you through a lesson.

Having a lesson run smoothly is especially important when under the pressure of an evaluation. During my last evaluation, I knew the next activity I had planned and was ready to move forward. I then pressed the button to advance the PowerPoint slide and there was a mid-lesson review of the teaching standard, a requirement for our evaluations. If I had not been prompted, I would have completely skipped over this component and been docked a point. [Yeah, PowerPoint!]

I am including two PowerPoint lessons with this post as samples. Download them. Edit them to meet the needs of your students. Then try them in your classroom. All I ask is that you don’t repost these PowerPoints in any form on your websites or blogs.


I used this lesson with an inclusion class of fourth grade students. I have a link to the PowerPoint directly below. You may click the link or the PowerPoint image to download. Below this image is the link to the handouts that go with the lesson. They are a free download on Teachers Pay Teachers.


Analogies PowerPoint

Analogies PowerPoint

Handouts for this lesson are free on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Click this link to receive the printables for this lesson.

Fun with Analogies

Sample Pages from Fun with Analogies

Author’s Purpose

This PowerPoint has three parts. I completed the first two parts with my fifth grade inclusion class before the formal teacher evaluation. Here again, I have included links to both the PowerPoint and the printable resources. The printable is a condensed version of the PowerPoint activities. Although it does not follow the PowerPoint step-by-step, it contains the graphic organizer, response cards, and test. You may click the link or the image to download the PowerPoint.


Author's Purpose PowerPoint

Author’s Purpose PowerPoint

Handouts for this lesson are free on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Click this link to receive the printables for this lesson.

Author's Purpose Graphic Organizer

Author’s Purpose Graphic Organizer


Gay Miller


Permanent link to this article: http://bookunitsteacher.com/wp/?p=102