Unit 4: Reading & Writing Activities:
Vocabulary Through Context Clues

Title Page


Unit 1

Unit 2

Unit 3

Unit 4
What's In a Cigarette & Disease

Cycle of Addiction

Other Health Dangers of Cigarettes

• Reading & Writing Activities: Vocabulary Through Context Clues

Unit 5

Unit 6


Activity 1: Learning About and Using Context Clues

There are five context clues that writers use to help the read understand hard vocabulary words. They are definition, explanation, restatement, example, and punctuation.

Activity 1: Exercise on Context Clues

On the blank space in front of each sentence, write the context clue the writer used to help the reader understand the meaning of the underlined word. Then, go back through the unit to locate the word. See how the writer used it, and in your own words, give the meaning of the underlined word.

  1. ____________Farmers use insecticides to kill the insects that eat the tobacco plant.
    Your sentence:

  2. ____________A carcinogen is something that causes cancer.
    Your sentence:

  3. ____________A cancerous growth is called a malignant tumor.
    Your sentence:

  4. ____________Nicotine is the main ingredient in insecticides or bug Sprays.
    Your sentence:

  5. ____________Carbon monoxide interferes with our respiratory (breathing) system.
    Your sentence:

  6. ____________The cilia which are made up of small hairs help to clean the air we breathe in as it moves down and into the lungs.
    Your sentence:

  7. ____________Air sacs fill with air when we breathe in and are elastic like rubber bands.
    Your sentence:

  8. ____________When a person's heart stops beating and part or all of the heart muscle dies, he/she has had coronary arrest.
    Your sentence:

  9. ____________Nicotine is the chemical that makes cigarette smoking addictive.
    Your sentence:

  10. ____________A stroke happens when the brain does not get enough oxygen.
    Your sentence:

  11. ____________Because of smoking, 40% of men and 28% of women die prematurely, before their time.
    Your sentence:

  12. ____________Osteoporosis is a disease in which the bones get thin and weak.
    Your sentence:

Activity 2: More on Context Clues

Go to the text and find two or more examples of the use of context clues that were not found in the Activity 1 exercise.

Activity 3: Ingredients in Cigarettes

Without looking at the chart on the "Familiar Chemicals in Cigarettes," list five commonly known ingredients in cigarettes and state where else (in what specific products, brands) these chemicals are found. Make a list of products you have at home that have some of the same chemicals found in cigarettes. Bring the list to your next class.

Activity 4: Identifying Conditions / Diseases Through Symptoms

On a folded piece of paper, your teacher will give you one or two of the following words:

lung cancer

tobacco addiction


coronary arrest


peripheral vascular disease


chronic bronchitis


Do not tell anyone else what illness(es) you have on your piece(s) of paper. Look for the discussion of the illness(es) in the text and write a paragraph describing your symptoms. Every sentence in the paragraph should be written in a complete sentence.

The teacher picks a rotating doctor from the class. You will have a turn to read aloud your symptoms to the doctor and class. Then the doctor will tell you the name of your illness/condition. If there is no doctor, the class will figure out what illness/condition you have from your symptoms.

Activity 5: Writing Warning Labels

Write two warning labels to be rotated on a pack of cigarettes. Your teacher, someone in your class, or you will type up the class list of cigarette warning labels.

Activity 6: Conducting a Mock U.S. Congressional Hearing

Pretend your classroom is holding a hearing in the U.S. Congress. You will be discussing whether the sale of cigarettes should be banned (not be allowed) because they are a dangerous drug. Have 2 to 6 people be members of the Tobacco Committee of the U.S. Congress. You will have one representative from the Food & Drug Administration, Philip Morris, a former smoker who has lung cancer, and a current smoker speak before the committee. At the end of the hearing, the members of the Tobacco Committee will vote on whether or not to ban cigarettes.

For homework or in class, write up your opinion as to whether or not the sale of cigarettes should be banned as a dangerous drug.