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A healthy knowledge of roots and affixes enables us all to unlock word meanings. This skill can help students increase their comprehension and swiftly decode unknown words on timed tests.
Use this versatile file to increase vocabulary (and thus comprehension) by developing, reviewing, and enriching your students' knowledge of root words and prefixes.
98 root words + 37 prefixes + 45 review activities = 180 days of practice with root words and prefixes
Format / Materials Included:
Biggest Bangs for Your Buck:
- build vocabulary
- build comprehension
- ELL instruction
Research-Based Information: Use this (if needed) to show that this daily practice is a researched-based teaching method.
1. This quote is from an article that addresses what I see as a normal classroom: a classroom full of varying backgrounds and differing needs:
2. The following quote specifically relates to ELL students, but in my opinion it can be applied to all students:
My personal story of why I created this:
Years ago when I taught seventh grade English, I noticed the majority of my students were reading well below grade level. After doing some scholarly research, I found that roots and affixes are extremely beneficial to increasing vocabulary and comprehension.
I needed something that could: be used daily, was engaging, and could be completed by all students. Workbooks have to be reordered or copied, and I wanted something that I could use year after year. After many painstaking months trying to perfect the formatting, here is my masterpiece for roots and prefixes. (I am not a corporation; I am a teacher who saw a problem and wanted to fix it.)
This file has been a huge time saver for me because I project it on my board to use as a bellringer and closing activity, but if you want to make copies for your students, you can do that as well (see the instructions included in the file for how to save ink if copying).
In the beginning of class, we record the root or affix of the day plus four words and their definitions. We have tablets in my classroom, and the students use them to look up the words and definitions. If you do not have tablets, but you allow your students to use their phones, then they could use those to look up the words and definitions. (Or, of course, there are always those wonderful old-school items known as dictionaries that have words printed on paper.) After five to eight minutes, we briefly share the words we found.
Then, at the end of class, we move to the next activity for the root or prefix: we draw a picture that represents the root and write a sentence with one of the words we found earlier (this can be done as a whole class or individually).
I now teach grades ten and twelve, and they are enjoying the activities (and sharing the words they find as well as the sentences they create - my rule is you can only use someone's name in a sentence if it is your own name).
All of the directions are provided in the file, and students find it quite easy to use. I just go in order as the roots and prefixes appear in the file, but you could easily pick and choose by using ctrl+F (and typing in the desired root or prefix) to jump to a specific root or affix relevant to vocabulary words you are studying.
The later activities can be used as enrichment or remediation as you see fit, and they should be used after teaching the roots and prefixes. They are fun! Use them.
Please see the preview file for the list of roots and prefixes included as well as sample pages from the file.
The prefixes are mixed in with the roots because I was trying to organize them into three categories: science/social studies, math/numbers, and medical/anatomy. The prefixes have a dash after them: macro-. The roots have no dashes.
Happy Teaching! :)
P.S. I know that many times we want to shower our students with testing skills that seem to drill them with multiple-choice questions, but it is my personal belief that we must do more. They must have other ways to first build comprehension. This file gives me the ability to use words like "scaffold for testing / ACT" on my board or lesson plans to cue visiting admins that this activity is useful for testing, but, to me, it is simply to help the students improve their vocabulary and comprehension skills for life.