Testing Strategies
Context Clues
Main Idea/Text Structure

Do you have to take your Reading STAAR test in order?

No, you are not required to take your STAAR test in order. Start with your hardest genre!


As the summer sun sent scattered rays through the maple and oak leaves overhead, the young deer stood frozen, making it almost impossible for the hikers to see her. In the above passage, the word “frozen” means _______.

What is not moving


Words or instructions in a play that are written in italics and enclosed by parenthesis

What is Stage Directions


State the Main Idea: Different rocks are used in different ways.  The way a rock is used depends on its color, feel, shine and hardness. For example, some rocks, such as granite and marble, are both hard and beautiful. They are used for buildings and monuments.  Another type of rocks, graphite is soft and dark. It is used in lead pencils.

What is different rocks are used in different ways.


Describe a text's main idea, important details, and overall meaning in just a few sentences.

What is Summarizing


What are the four components of the context clues chart?

Word or unfamiliar word

Context Clues




The Saints and Strangers argued about how they would live in the New World. After much discussion, they came together and signed the Mayflower Compact. The Compact was _______.

What is an agreement


In a play, the conversation between characters; it advances the plot and reveals conflict.

What is dialogue


Sarah's car was dead on the side of the road. What was she going to do? She had already gotten off to a rough start when her alarm clock had faild to go off that morning. School started in just under an hour. Suddenly, it dawned on her that she had subscribed to OnStar the month before. With the simple press of a button she was able to get help jump-starting her battery and made it to class right on time! 

What is the text structure of the passage?

Problem / Solution


The use of clues by an author that suggest events that have yet to occur



When do you use TPCASTT?

To analyze poetry


Using Context Clues tell me the definition of the word sustain in the sentence below: Lakes occupy less the two percent of the Earth's surface , yet they help to sustain life. For instance, lakes give us fish to eat, irrigate crops and generate electrical power.

What is to prolong, To keep in existence; maintain?


Jane sat in awe as the stars danced across the night sky. 

What literary device is being used in this sentence?

What is personification


Give the main idea of the passage: The peanut is a humble plant with hundreds of functions. Most peanuts are roasted in their shells and lightly salted. About half the peanuts eaten in the United States are ground into a thick paste called peanut butter. The rich oil made from peanuts is good for frying foods and is used for oiling machines and making soaps and paint. Even peanut shells are used to make plastics and to fertilize soil.

What is the many uses of peanuts


What is the purpose of the following passage? Spongebob is the absolute best candidate for student body president! She is honest, friendly and dedicated to making our school a better place. This is YOUR chance to make a positive change! VOTE SPONGEBOB IN 2016!

To Persuade


When do you use this graphic organizer?

What is Paired Passage.

To Compare and Contrasts to text

To find the similarities or differences between two text


Both sides in the election contest are throwing accusations at each other. The Gore supporters claim that Governor Bush is trying to thwart the will of the people. The Bush supporters say that Mr. Gore is trying to create votes or assign choices to people who did not really cast votes for president. What does “thwart” mean?

What is prevent or block


Memories are bullets. Some whiz by and only spook you. Others tear you open and leave you in pieces.

What literary device is being used above?

What is a metaphor?


The summer had been extra hot with very little rain to relieve the thirsty earth. There were cracks in the ground that looked like someone might fall into. People neglected their lawns because no plant was motivated to be green or grow.

What is Cause and Effect

Fire!", I yelled. "There's a fire in the bathroom" I screamed. After a moment I thought to myself, Why wasn't anyone answering me? or coming out of there class rooms?. So I yelled again "Fire,Fire!". Still no answer. I decided to get help but when I tried to run it felt like I was going so slow. The doors to all the classrooms where moving further away. All of a sudden I heard an alarm going off. Infer what the person is doing

The person is dreaming



What two type of texts do you use this with?


Literary Texts and Drama


No matter where you go, the Internet is following you. Almost every portable device is being made with an Internet connection. Most new TVs and many other appliances come with Internet connections as well. The Internet is truly ubiquitous. What does ubiquitous mean?

What is it is everywhere.


Life is Monopoly, go cop me some land and some property”—“Stir fry,” ---

What literary device is being used in the song lyric above.

Bonus points if you can identify the song/singer

What is a metaphor?

What is the Migos


What text structure is being described below

Gives characteristics or traits about a person, place or thing.



What is the purpose of the following passage? Butterflies are colorful, flying insects from the Lepidoptera order. Because they are insects, they have three body parts.  The three body parts are called the head, thorax, and abdomen. They also have six jointed legs, two antennae and compound eyes.


To inform

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