Stage 3 reading - Vocabulary in context

Learning intention

Students will learn to identify and build meaning of words and their affixes. Students will learn to use contextual clues to determine best word choice.

Syllabus outcome

  • EN3-RECOM-01: fluently reads and comprehends texts for wide purposes, analysing text structures and language, and by monitoring comprehension  

  • EN3-VOCAB-01: extends Tier 2 and Tier 3 vocabulary through interacting, wide reading and writing, morphological analysis and generating precise definitions for specific contexts 

National Literacy Learning Progression

Understanding texts

  • 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)

  • UnT10: demonstrates an understanding of nuances and subtleties in words of similar meaning (e.g. frustrated, discouraged, baffled) (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 can be used to explicitly teach vocabulary: Select, Explain, Explore, Consolidate.


Students identify base words, prefixes, suffixes and Greek and Latin roots.

Synonyms and antonyms

Students explore synonyms and antonyms.

Nuance and word clines

Students learn the subtle differences between closely related words.


Students complete cloze passages with a particular focus.

Word webs

Students use word webs to define and visually represent words as well as to find antonyms and synonyms for selected vocabulary.

Vocabulary in context

Students determine the correct word choice, justify their choice and offer a substitution to maintain meaning.

Word Gotcha!

Students use morphological, decoding, etymological skills and prior knowledge to create a plausible definition in a game.


  • Teaching and learning

Business Unit:

  • Educational Standards
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