If you’re looking for a simple reading activity that helps students with inferring the meaning of something from the context, then you’ll want to check out closest in meaning. It’s ideal for any age and almost all levels of students so give it a try today!
Closest in Meaning Reading Activity
Reading Sub-Skills: Inferring meaning from context
Time: 10 minutes
Materials Required: Sentences with corresponding match options
It’s often the case when reading anything in a language that we’re not fluent in to encounter words we don’t know. Some people reach for their dictionary every single time this happens but this isn’t necessary and it’s certainly not efficient. Of course, having a solid knowledge of discourse features is a great help in this.
Instead, a more effective way is to guess the meaning of the unknown word using context clues. This activity is designed to help our students with this important skill.
Make some sentences and for each one, have 2-3 corresponding sentences, one of which is obviously closest in meaning to the original than the other ones. I use a slightly higher level of vocabulary than the students are at and don’t allow them to use their dictionaries.
Closest in Meaning Example
Focus: The professor delivered her lecture eloquently.
Answer: The professor’s lesson was clear and easy to understand.
Extra Sentence 1: The professor’s lecture was presented in a PowerPoint.
Extra Sentence 2: The professor’s class was spoken too quickly.
You may want to have students work together in pairs to complete this activity, or at the very least, compare with a partner when they’re done. After this, check the answers together as a class.
Another thing that I’ll often use this activity for is adverbs of frequency. It’s the perfect way to find out whether or not students truly understand the meaning. More details here: Frequency Adverbs Activities.
Procedure for Closest in Meaning:
- In advance, write some sentences and some corresponding sentences. One should be closer in meaning to the original than the others and use some higher-level vocabulary throughout.
- Students have to choose the sentence that is closest in meaning to the original using context clues, alone or in pairs.
- If done alone, students can compare answers with a partner.
- Check answers as a class and discuss helpful context clues used in the activity.
Did you like Closest in Meaning?
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 68 Pages - 02/16/2020 (Publication Date)
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Whatever the case, you’re going to have better ESL reading classes! And, Closest in Meaning is just one of the dozens of activities in this book. Pick up a copy today:
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Last update on 2021-08-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API