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Did you know that 20 prefixes account for 97% of all word prefixes? Did you know that 16 suffixes account for 87% of all word suffixes?
As a nineteen-year English educator, I can honestly say that I have never enjoyed teaching vocabulary...until now. Using the process of morphologically breaking down words into meaningful chunks has changed my entire vocabulary outlook. I love teaching vocabulary now, and my students actually love it too, as you will see by the examples in this Power Point. The concepts from this PPT can be used throughout the entire year!
Morphological vocabulary allows students to actually make meaning of each word "chunk" rather than just memorize one large word. Take for example, the prefixes -un,
-non, and -anti, these negative prefixes all technically mean "not," yet they have drastic connotative differences. For instance, there are very different feelings that come with being unAmerican vs. nonAmerica vs. anti-American (I use this example in the PPT). Students will complete fun activities while grasping the meaning of each word "chunk." My students loved vocabulary for the very first time!
In this PPT, the major focus will be on the 36 affixes that are most commonly used. My students keep a vocabulary journal where they not only track their vocabulary words, but where they also reflect on "one word" that they choose for self-improvement. This concept of "one word" I took from Jon Gordon's book. The intent is to have students focus on their "one word" throughout the school year, in addition to helping students identify with the beauty of words. Finally, the last part of the PPT focuses on the application piece. I provide an example from the novel, A Separate Peace, by John Knowles, where students highlighted the top 36 affixes and then made meaning of the affix within the text. You can see the notes in the margin, and these are all student ideas! You can transfer this activity to any book! If you need help finding texts, please contact me.
Students have reported back to me that their morphological awareness of words has helped them on SATs, APs, and other tests, and it has also benefited their reading comprehension. Most importantly, students have reported that they actually enjoy vocabulary learning because they are actually learning the words, not memorizing. After you download the PPT, make a copy of the file, and erase all of the "student responses" that I provide in one of the PPTs, so that you can use one file to teach and the other to guide. Please also look for more of my morphological vocabulary lessons!
Note: Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have questions, need more samples, or ideas for teaching this!