Prefixes Teacher Resources
Find Prefixes educational ideas and activities
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Young readers participate in a prefix game. They use laminated cards to recognize root words, prefixes, and antonyms. Everyone determines what happens to a word when a prefix is added.
Prefix Game and Associated Worksheets
Help learners grasp prefixes, antonyms, and spelling rules with this engaging game and the related worksheets. All directions and materials are included to give kids a variety of opportunities to interact with the prefixes mis-, dis-, un-, and il- along with several others. Designed for use with English language learners, this would be an excellent approach for any class studying these affixes.
Unlock the Power of Prefixes
As promised by the title, this cute and inviting resource is a great way to introduce your young ELA pupils to how prefixes create words and increase vocabulary. Follow the mini-instructional activity outlined here to discuss some common prefixes and their meanings before playing a word-changing game and completing the two provided word-building worksheets. Because this instructional activity utilizes students' prior knowledge while teaching a new concept, your class is sure to feel confident using their new knowledge of prefixes outside of this instructional activity as well.
Prefix/Suffix Sentence Change
Sentences take on very different meanings with the simple addition of an affix! Small groups use blank sentence strips to practice this concept with prefixes and suffixes you have been learning. First, each scholar writes a sentence with one word that can have an affix added to it. Then, they give it to another group member who figures out where it can be added. What does this new sentence mean? See which groups can come up with the silliest, most opposite, or most interesting sentence changes. Project the affixes they can use so groups can see them while doing this.
Prefix/Suffix: Trunk or Tail?
Use this elephant visual to give scholars a context for prefix and suffix examples. For each affix, they determine if it should be written on the tail or the trunk based on if it starts or ends a word. After listing it on the appropriate part of the elephant outline, scholars think of a word example that includes the affix, writing it on the elephant body. Do a couple of these as examples before letting kids think some up on their own. There are differentiated goals listed here.
Approach prefixes and suffixes using this concept map focused on word examples. Come up with an affix, writing it in the middle circle. Scholars help brainstorm words with this affix, writing them into the four outside circles. Unfortunately, this graphic organizer doesn't include a designated spot to define words or the affix, however the circles are large enough that you could write in definitions. Another way to do this is to write example words first and have scholars use the context to guess at the affix meaning.
What goes in must come out; using the graphic organizer included here, scholars send root words through the prefix/suffix funnel to become new words. Choose an affix to start with (for example, -able), then model how the funnel works as you send base words in and get new words out. Ask scholars to give you root words they think of and send them through together. For each word, record the original affix-attached versions on the T-Chart. Have learners do this independently by either coming up with more root words for the same affix or starting fresh with a new one.
No More Monsters for Me: Building Words with Prefixes and Suffixes
Pull a root word from a hat and make new words by adding prefixes and suffixes. After a read aloud of the Peggy Parish book No More Monsters for Me and whole group practice identifying root words and affixes, youngsters play a game to develop syllabication and word-building skills. Includes solid modification and extension ideas.
Prefix/Suffix: Build a Word
You've never seen Chutes and Ladders like this; scholars review prefix and suffix examples as they move along the game board. Small groups get a deck of six cards with given prefixes and suffixes and a number on each card. The instructions are inconsistent with what numbers to put on the cards, but one or two works best. Players draw a card, moving their piece along the printable game board, which has spaces with root words. If the affix can be attached to the root word they land on, they stay on the space. If not, they move back one. There are some fun twists in this game, and you'll find differentiation ideas here, too.
The prefix and suffix cube is a great way to visualize affixes with learners. Model it first, writing a prefix or suffix in the box, drawing a picture, recording its meaning, and calling on learners to come up with word examples. Once they've seen you do it, have them complete one with a partner. Consider mixing this up and making it a guessing game by coming up with word examples first and challenging pupils to guess the affix meaning. There are differentiation ideas here.
Use a hand outline to review prefixes and suffixes. Modeling this approach with learners first, write the affix on the palm of the hand. The meaning goes on the thumb and a word example is recorded on each finger. Although there is a hand template included, consider simply asking kids to trace their own hands into a notebook. Another possibility to make this more of a puzzle, is to reverse the order: write the affix on the palm and brainstorm word examples first. Challenge scholars to guess its meaning using the example words as clues.
Prefix/Suffix Picture Boxes
All you need to execute an engaging and effective word meaning lesson is to choose a prefix or suffix and make copies of this graphic organizer. Ideally you would project one of these for the class to see, modelling the strategy first. They write in the chosen affix and its meaning at the top, then come up with other root words to which it could be added. Learners draw a picture to accompany each word, showing visually how adding the affix changes its meaning.
Prefix/Suffix: Win, Lose, or Draw
Take an idea from the classic game Pictionary to give your scholars prefix and suffix review. They play Win, Lose, or Draw in two or three large teams, using a list of words with affixes as a guide. Teams send up a player who receives one of the words from the list to draw as his teammates guess. Switch off until all words are covered. This is best as a review of a large list of words, so save it until you've covered quite a few. Use this as a fun strategy for vocabulary words, too!
Introduce several new prefixes to your vocabulary lesson. After alphabetizing 19 prefixes, including pro-, geo-, and thermo, third graders use a dictionary to find one word that begins with each prefix. Extend the activity by having kids write a story using their newfound vocabulary words.
Prefixes Micro- and Mega-
Explore vocabulary context clues with a prefix activity. Using the prefixes micro- and mega-, fourth graders complete sentence frames. They then make up their own word with the correct prefixes. Helpful as homework or during a writing practice unit.
Dinosaurs: Prefixes and Suffixes
Examine how scientists use prefixes and suffixes to name dinosaurs. Using a list of prefixes and suffixes, learners will name an imaginary dinosaur, explore dinosaur websites, create a drawing of their dinosaur, and write a story describing the life of their made-up dinosaur. This activity ties in technology by using computers for the story.
Take the Prefix Challenge!
Help your class develop useful decoding skills to tackle new vocabulary they encounter and, at the same time, broaden their repertoires for writing. Learners compete in teams to see who can create the largest number of words by combining a set of prefixes with a set of base words. They check their new creations with the Visual Thesaurus. Interesting warm-up activities are included to encourage studying words.
Take the Prefix Challenge
Students form words using prefixes. In this prefix lesson, students compete in a "prefix challenge" to see which team can combine a set of twelve prefixes with a set of twelve words fastest. Students enter their words in a word log and add a Visual Thesaurus definition.
Prefix/Suffix and Root Word Connection Boxes
One of the best ways to learn about prefixes and suffixes is to come up with examples, and this graphic organizer helps scholars do just that. Print one out for each learner and project one for them to see. Choose either a root word, prefix, or suffix to put at the top, then have learners come up with other words with the same element. Start with an easy one like un- or human to get them going. Do a couple of these together before letting them try another few on their own.
Prefix/Suffix and Root Word Math Equations
Math and language arts combine well as scholars practice with prefix and suffix examples. Using the graphic organizer, they complete an "equation" with a root word and affix as the addends and the completed word as the sum. Add an extra element by having them also write the meanings in all three shapes; do they notice how the affix's meaning adds to the root word's meaning to create a new meaning?