SAGE Approach to Vocabulary

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Vocabulary in Context
THE SAGE APPROACH
SAGE Approach
 What is a sage?
 Therefore….
 The SAGE approach is a _________ technique to
employ!
Why?
 Why not!!
 When reading
 Often faced with words we do not know!
 Rarely have a dictionary right next to us!
 When reading (outside of school), real readers do not always
seek the EXACT word meaning.
Ohhhhh……Ahhh….Tell Me More!
What’s the Point?
 Authors intentionally (on purpose) put words’
meanings IN the context of their writing
 There are four common ways that they do this!
 S = synonyms
 A = antonyms
 G = general context
 E = examples
Sooo……
 When reading and you come across a word whose
meaning you do not know, you could….

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
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
Use a dictionary
Ask a friend
Ask a teacher
Ask your pet
Use context (also known as – the SAGE approach!)
S = Synonyms
• A synonym is a word that has the same or similar
meaning as another.
• Roots
–
–
Syn = same
Nym – name
• Pairs of synonyms, for example:
– Happy = glad
– Sad = depressed
– Cat = feline
– Horse = equine
– Watery = aqueous
Synonym Cue Words
 Or
 That is
 If you see these words (or others like them), you
should expect that a synonym will follow!
 So….if you don’t know the first word’s meaning, you
may know the second’s!!!
Synonym Examples
 The dentist gave me laughing gas to alleviate (or
ease) the pain of cutting out my wisdom teeth.


Cue word?
Meaning of alleviate?
 Being nocturnal, that is, active at night, owls are
rarely seen during the day.


Cue word?
What does nocturnal mean?
Whole Group Practice
 The government should not infringe on or violate a person’s
right to free speech.

What does this sentence mean?
 Tom was so engrossed, that is, involved, in the football game
on television that he did not hear his wife’s question.

What doe this sentence mean?
 Endangered species such as manatees need a sanctuary, or
haven, so they can begin to thrive, that is, repopulate, again.


What is a sanctuary?
What does it mean to thrive (in the animal kingdom)?
Assignment!
 Flip through your history text book and find 10 sentences
that utilize synonym context clues to struggling readers.
 For each sentence, write down the difficult vocabulary
word’s meaning (aside from just the synonym.)
 For example:
 The lawyer sought to adjudicate, or bring the case to trial,
in order to help his client.



You would write the complete sentence down and…
Write down that adjudicate means to have his “case heard before a
judge and jury”.
Do NOT just write down that adjudicate means “to bring the case to
trial”!
A = Antonyms
 Antonyms are words that have the opposite meaning of
each other.
 Roots


Ant = opposite
Nym = name
• Pairs of antonyms, for example:
–
–
–
–
–
Happy = sad
Prompt = late
Studious = unfocused
Calm = hyperactive
Ingenious = commonplace
Antonym Cue Words



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

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
But
However
In contrast
Instead
Not
On the other hand
Unlike
Yet
 Sometimes antonyms are right next to the new word(set off by
commas, dashes, or parentheses)
 Sometimes antonyms are placed in other parts of the sentence to
stress the contrast
Antonym Examples
 During dinner, Anne Marie let out a long, loud burp
that mortified her mother but amused her friends.


What did her friends think of the burp? Her mother?
Therefore, what does mortified mean?
 Suzanne’s tone was surprisingly flippant, in contrast
to her usual respectful manner.


How is she usually?
How was her tone this time?
Antonym Practice
(small group)
 Use the Antonym part of the SAGE approach to
determine a meaning of the bold words.
 Johnson’s Reconstruction plan was to treat the
South with malice, not love.
 Lincoln’s plan perturbed many people. However,
some people thought it was a good one.
 Lincoln’s assassination left many people
incredulous. On the other hand, many people
thought violence would come to Lincoln.
G = General Context
 Often you will find that the author has not provided a
synonym or antonym clue to a word’s meaning.
 You may need to read the entire sentence or to read
ahead for a few sentences.
 Sometimes a definition may be provided.
 Vivid word pictures or descriptions may be provided
 Logic and reasoning may be needed!
General Context Cue Words
 For instance
 For example
 Such as
 Including
 Consists of
Examples
 To ensure safety, written and road tests should be
mandatory for everyone who seeks a driver’s
license for the first time; no exceptions should be
allowed.


What part of this sentence gives you a clue of mandatory’s
meaning?
What does mandatory mean?
Examples
 Instead of being placed in adult prisons, where they
often became more antisocial by mixing with
hardened criminals, youth who have been convicted
of crimes should be placed in programs that
rehabilitate them.
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A.
B.
C.
D.
Restore to useful life
Punish for good reason
Exhaust in order to break the spirit
Entertain
More examples
 Jaime speculated about how much weight he wanted to gain
during the three month bodybuilding program he was
beginning.
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A.
B.
C.
D.
Knew
Wondered
Worried
Celebrated
 Losing weight too quickly – more than a pound or two a week
– can be detrimental to long-term weight control and good
health.


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A.
B.
C.
D.
Helpful
Odd
Harmful
Pleasing
One More!
 From ”Popular”
 And though you protest
Your disinterest
I know clandestinely
You're gonna’ grin and bear it
Your new found popularity
 HOW will you find out what this word means?
 What DOES clandestinely actually mean?
E = Examples
 Many times an author will show the meaning of a
new or difficult word by providing an example.
 Example signal words
 For instance
 For example
 Such as
 Including
 Consists of
Examples….examples!
 The American presidency has suffered infamous
events such as the Watergate scandal of Richard
Nixon and the impeachment of Bill Clinton.

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What are the examples in this sentence?
Do you know what these events were – in history?
If you DO, you might have a better idea of infamous’s
definition.
If you DON’T, you may need to find another route.
More Examples
 Some authors use pseudonyms; for example, famous
American author Mark Twain’s real name was Samuel
Clemens.

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A.
B.
C.
D.
Typists
Mental tricks
Ghost writers
False name
 Some people believe that the pesticides used on food cause
serious physical impairments such as weakened kidneys
and a more fragile immune system.
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A.
B.
C.
D.
Improvements
Laws
Injuries
Pairings
Final Example…Example
 Some students find collaborative leaning helps
them understand and retain information; for
example, Nicole, Vejay, and Chad meet every
Tuesday and Thursday in the library to compare
notes and help each other prepare for tests.

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A.
B.
C.
D.
Additional
Intense
Independent
Shared

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