This vocabulary strategy (Cunningham, Cunningham and Arthur, 1981) will help students identify unfamiliar terms and and associate the term's meaning with its use in context. Students first determine what they think the words mean outside of the context. After students have discussed what they think the words mean, the teacher will record suggested definitions on the whiteboard or chart paper. Students will then read the assigned text, noting the vocabulary in context. Students will then discuss and revise their initial definitions based on the use of the word in the text. The teacher and students can also discuss how context affects multi-meaning words.
Websites on Contextual Redefinition:
Literacy Connects: Contextual Redefinition