Context Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

What is context and how does it help us understand things? This lesson plan uses an engaging video lesson to outline key facts about context for students. A team activity illuminates the value of context.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define context
  • discuss the benefits of context in writing
  • summarize the elements of context


1 to 1.5 hours

Curriculum Standards


Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.


Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 6 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.


Use context (e.g., the overall meaning of a sentence or paragraph; a word's position or function in a sentence) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.


Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.


Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.


  • A worksheet created using the quiz from the associated video lesson


  • Begin by writing the following word on the board for students: 'context.'
    • What does this word mean?
    • In what situations is context important?
  • Play the video lesson What is Context? - Definition & Application, pausing it at 0:55.
    • How did we do in defining 'context'?
    • Why is the use of context essential when writing?
  • Write the following sentence on the board for the class now, 'Maybe,' he said hesitantly, 'maybe there is a beast.'
    • Who is he?
    • Who is the beast?
    • How could context help us understand these things?
  • Play the rest of the video lesson for the class now.
    • How does context support understanding when reading?
    • How can we use context clues to decipher unknown words?
  • Summarize key points from the video lesson with the class before continuing.
  • Pass out the worksheet to the class now, one copy per student.
  • Instruct the students to work independently to complete the worksheet at this time.
  • When all students have finished the worksheet, review each question and answer with the class as students make corrections as needed.

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