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

  • EN3-3A: uses an integrated range of skills, strategies and knowledge to read, view and comprehend a wide range of texts in different media and technologies.

National Literacy Learning Progression

Understanding texts

  • UnT8: use knowledge of prefixes and suffixes to read and interpret unfamiliar words; identifies how technical and discipline-specific words develop meaning in texts; recognises how the use of antonyms, synonyms and common idiomatic language enhance meaning in a text; understand precise meaning of words with similar connotations (generous, kind-hearted, charitable) (vocabulary)
  • UnT9: applies knowledge of root words and word origins to understand the meaning of unfamiliar, discipline specific words;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 (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!

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

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