Assessment Questions: What context clues can I use to help me understand the meaning of this unfamiliar word? What other words have a similar structure to this word? How can I use what I know about other words that look or sound similar to help me understand this unfamiliar word? Transcript: One of the best ways to build vocabulary is by reading. But independent reading only helps students acquire new vocabulary if when reading they are able to figure out hte words they don't know. CSSR is a strategy to help students decipher unfamiliar words. When introducing this strategy explain to students that when reading a text there are multiple clues to help us understand the meaning of a word that we don’t know. We can look at the context, the word’s structure, and how it sounds. The first clue is context, the words around the word we don’t know. When examining context, reread the sentence. Appositives are especially helpful. An appositive is a word or phrase immediately following the word it describes. Use clues like this to help you figure out the unfamiliar word. If the single sentence doesn’t provide enough clues. Then reread the sentence before and after. Think about the situation in which the word is being used. You may need to skim the paragraph for additional clues. Next, the first S stands for structure. Does the word look like any other words you know? Can you break the word into parts? Look for familiar prefixes, roots, and suffixes. Does any part of the word look like a word you know? The second S stands for sound. Say the word to yourself. Does it sound like any other words you know? Do any of the word parts sound familiar to you? The R in CSSR stands for resource. If all else fails, you may need to use a resource like a dictionary or a person with a larger vocabulary to help you. When using a dictionary, remember to consider the context in which the word is being used. Many words in English have multiple meanings. Find the meaning that best fits the context. CSSR works for different types of text across content areas and for all reading levels. Help students become more strategic independent readers with this strategy for determining the meaning of unfamiliar words.