Greek and Latin roots and affixes are the “building blocks” of the English language. Incorporating them into your instruction or curriculum not only provides students with word meanings, but helps them with spelling conventions as well. Students will learn how to break down larger words in their reading. Studying Greek and Latin roots and affixes has proven to be effective time and time again in my reading instruction and I’m never surprised to see them on state and national assessments.
WHERE DO YOU BEGIN?
If you know me, you know I am the biggest fan of scaffolding. Start off simple. Step-by-Step. I like to start by explaining the differences between prefixes, suffixes, and root words so students have the basic foundation of what we will be studying. Then, the first two units is studying number prefixes like mono- uni- bi- tri- quad- pent- hex- oct- dec-. Students have seen these prefixes in their reading, so it eases them into the study of words. It introduces them to the study of Greek and Latin Root Words and Affixes without being too overwhelming.
Introduce 5 ROOTS OR AFFIXES per week. Group the units into prefixes, roots, or affixes. Then provide 2 words to study with each one. For example: mono- means one. Monotone means one tone, unchanging voice. Monopoly means controlled by one. Students will learn a total of 15 definitions per week (5 roots or affixes and 10 words). If you teach 10 units, they will learn a total of 150 words (50 roots or affixes and 100 words). Wowzer!
WHY HAVE 5 ROOTS OR AFFIXES ALL IN ONE STUDY?
Students will learn more tools to break down words. With the roots and affixes categorized, students can easily learn all of them within a week. STUDENTS LEARN MORE IN A SHORTER PERIOD OF TIME. I even like to break my units down into the origin of the words. For example, all Greek words one week and all Latin words the next week.
WHAT DOES A WEEK OF GREEK AND LATIN STUDY LOOK LIKE?
Spend 4 days studying a unit of words and assess on the 5th day. Here is a sneak peek into what I found to be effective:
Introduce the five root words or affixes.
- Use anchor charts with visuals. Students (especially your visual learners) will be able to connect the words to the image. Research indicates that visuals help with long-term memory.
- Take these visuals either on the anchor chart or create cards for a word wall or bulletin board. Keep it up for the whole study and add to it each week. Soon your room will be filled with words!
- Have students take notes and/or look up the meanings of the 10 words that go along with the roots or affixes. I like to provide definitions where students use a dictionary and match up the meanings to the words. This helps them find the definition you want them to learn for your study.
- Go over the definitions together, so students have the correct answers to study and use for the rest of the activities.
- Idea: Give students a mini card with the definitions to place on a metal ring. Then each week, they add to their ring.
For homework or centers: Have students draw a picture of the root word or affix, write out the definition, and create a sentence for each word. These can be placed in a folder or stapled into a booklet.
Help students brainstorm more words.
Use a dictionary (printed or online) to look up other words with the same root or affix. Students will get to see how many words actually have the same root or affix! Then have them create a nonsense word using that root or affix.
Provide a comprehension practice.
Students need to be able to understand how the words fit or “look” in a sentence. A great way to do this is with a fill-in-the-blank story.
Review, Review, Review.
Did you know that students should encounter a word up to 70 times before it is mastered? That is why we practice, practice, practice!
- Game for whole group- I Have, Who Has? Kids love to play this game!
- Use flashcards to play concentration, Pictionary, board game, Headbandz, or study with friend.
- Offer GOOGLE OR POWERPOINT Self-Check slides. These are great for centers and distance learning.
Assess their knowledge.
Provide a quiz for the 5 roots or affixes in addition to the 10 words for the week.
In addition to the weekly practice, students need to remember the past roots and affixes introduced. Provide a spiraling section of 5 questions with each quiz after Unit 1. (Require students to study all the words on their metal ring!)
•Create a crossword puzzle on www.puzzlemaker.com and exchange with classmates.
•Create a jingle for the words.
•Act out the word and have students write the word on their whiteboards.
•Create fill-in-blank sentences and exchange with classmate to fill in the correct word.
•Use both words for each root in a sentence.
•Draw pictures for each word and exchange with classmate to guess the word.
DO YOU WANT ALL OF THIS DONE FOR YOU?
We currently have 10 units with all these activities for both printable and digital versions.
- A small study page to create a ringed booklet. Copy them on card stock each week. Students add this card to their ring each week.
- An anchor chart for each of the roots or affixes.
- Cards for word wall or bulletin board .
- Cards for studying or concentration (print front to back).
- Study guide with matching and open-ended questions.
- Boxes or sentence strips to create sentences.
- Brainstorm other words with the same root or affix.
- Fill-in-the-blank story.
- I have Who Has activity for review.
- Quiz with spiraling section after the first unit. Students are responsible for going back and reviewing the prior lessons.
- Answer Key
GOOGLE | POWERPOINT
- Unit Study: anchor charts, study guide, questions, boxes for sentences, brainstorm slide, fill-in-the-blank story, quiz.
- Self-Check: Review activity.
- Google only- Google Forms Quiz for automatic grading.
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