Stage 2 reading - Vocabulary in context

Learning intention

Students will learn to identify and build meaning around parts of a word, including suffix, prefix and roots. Students learn to use contextual clues to determine best word choice, using a range of tools to further develop and widen vocabulary use and understanding.

Syllabus outcome

  • EN2-RECOM-01: reads and comprehends texts for wide purposes using knowledge of text structures and language, and by monitoring comprehension 

  • EN2-VOCAB-01 builds knowledge and use of Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 vocabulary through interacting, wide reading and writing, and by defining and analysing words  

National Literacy Learning Progression

Understanding texts

  • UnT6: uses morphological knowledge to explain words (e.g. help (e.g. base) + less (e.g. suffix) = helpless) (vocabulary); uses context and grammar knowledge to understand unfamiliar words (e.g. the word vast in the phrase vast desert) (vocabulary)

  • UnT7: interprets unfamiliar words using grammatical knowledge, morphological knowledge and etymological knowledge (vocabulary); recognises how synonyms are used to enhance a text (e.g. transport, carry, transfer) (vocabulary); draws on knowledge of word origin to work out meaning of discipline-specific terms (e.g. universe) (vocabulary)

  • UnT8: uses knowledge of prefixes and suffixes to read and interpret unfamiliar words (vocabulary); identifies how technical and discipline-specific words develop meaning in texts (vocabulary); analyses the effect of antonyms, synonyms and idiomatic language (vocabulary); understands precise meaning of words with similar connotations (e.g. generous, kind-hearted, charitable) (vocabulary)

  • UnT9: applies knowledge of root words and word origins to understand the meaning of unfamiliar, discipline-specific words (vocabulary); uses a range of context and grammatical cues to understand unfamiliar words (vocabulary) 

NAPLAN item descriptors

The relevant NAPLAN item descriptors are included in the resource, available for download on this page.

Task outline

Full task descriptions are included in the resource, available for download on this page.


The SEEC process (Select, Explain, Explore, Consolidate) can be used to explicitly teach vocabulary to students.


Students look at the definitions of key morphology terms and add different prefixes and suffixes to a base word to change the meaning.

Synonyms and antonyms

Students review synonyms and antonyms.

Nuance and word clines

Using image and word prompts, students create their own word clines.

Predicting words

Students use contextual and semantic clues to predict words.

Word choice

Students find alternative choices for words in a text.


Students choose between words and use their own vocabulary in cloze passages.

Vocabulary in context

Students investigate vocabulary in a text.


  • Teaching and learning

Business Unit:

  • Educational Standards
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