Strategies for Reading Unknown Words

After seriously reflecting on the reading levels of most of my students, I decided to spend a week doing reading strategies for "tricky" words. I was inspired by Sarah Cooley's blog post about things good readers do, which you can view here.

I am going to link to my wiki so you can browse all of the resources and use what you like. I have included the Reading Strategies Unit plans that I created, a reading strategies document, the flipchart that goes along with the entire unit, prefix/suffix passage, and context clues sheet.

We worked on chunking, context clues, and prefixes and suffixes this week. If you any other ideas you teach students for figuring out words, please share! I'll take all of the suggestions I can get.


  1. Thanks for sharing these resources! I like to use visual phonics for my lil' bitty first graders. It's where a little hand gesture goes along with each sound. It's a great cue and I see them doing the hand gestures as they try to decode a new word.

    We learned about it in a training - sorry I don't have a link for you!!

  2. These are excellent resources. Learning how to figure out tricky words is a real skill every kid should have.

  3. If you look up Marie Clay you will find lots of great strategies for tricky words. I taught reading recovery for four years and find that I still use a lot of her methods even though I an no longer teaching reading recovery.


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