Validity and Reliability & Context Clues Lessons: Busting Up Bullying 1100L


In their reading for my class, students must be able to determine the validity of reasoning and reliability of the evidence presented in the text and use context clues in order to determine meaning. I teach classes of 7th and 8th grade students who scored 1’s and 2’s on our state’s standardized test, and these skills do not necessarily come easily. In this activity, I’ll show you how I take text we’re using in the classroom to target this skill.

Getting Warmed Up

Validity_Reliability_Context Clues warm-upI created a warm-up with validity, reliability and context clues questions, using the unit Busting Up Bullying.

For four days, I projected a short warm-up asking students to answer three questions based on the standards for validity/ reliability and context clues.  After brief peer collaboration on the warm-up, I projected three multiple-choice questions based on the same standards, one question at a time.

Download the warm-up PowerPoint: Validity and Reliability & Context Clues Warm-Up

Focused Engagement

Validity_Reliability_Context Clues Final Test

After students passed in their answer documents, I displayed the percentage of students who answered the questions correctly on a scoreboard vs. other class periods. My segment of students responds well to friendly competition. If the class got 100% on all three questions, they earned a prize.

Testing for Understanding

Because each warm-up was limited to three questions, the process went quickly. It allowed for focused conversation about the standards without students tiring or checking out. After four days, students took a test using the 820L Technical Article Bullying and Mob Mentality, from the same unit.

Download the PDF test here: Teengagement-Validity-Reliability-Context Clues-Final Test


This practice was effective, as I’m seeing focused growth from students. For students who continue to struggle, I would then use Word Lessons which I’ll share next week.

Hope this process, or the actual questions are something you find useful. Feel free to respond with questions or ideas you’ve tried!

– Notes

The standards used in this warm-up, Validity and Reliability (LA._.6.2.2) and Context Clues (LA._.1.6.3) are specific to my students’ state assessment. This warm-up can also be adapted for use with the same or similar skills:

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.8 Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.L.4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate.
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