When you are reading, chances are there will be a time when you come across a word that you aren't sure how to say it or what it means. When this happens, good readers need to use their decoding skills and strategies to try to figure out the unknown word. There are many different strategies that readers can use to decode. Here are a few:

Chunk the Word- Break the word up into smaller chunks that you can say, then blend those parts together

Use Letter Sound Clues- Look carefully at the letters in the word. Think about the sounds those letters make and word patterns that you know from Word Study to help you decode the word.

Context Clues- Be a word detective and look for clues about what the word could mean based on other words in the sentence.

Grammar Clues-
Think about the function of the word in the sentence to help you decide what it might mean. Is the word a verb that shows action? A noun that is a person, place, or thing?

Synonym Substitutions- Substitute the word you don't know with a synonym (different word that means the same thing) that you think it might mean. Read the sentence again with your word in it. Does the sentence make sense?
Katie Hartman,
Jun 28, 2011, 12:34 PM