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Prefixes Teacher Resources
Find teacher approved Prefixes educational resource ideas and activities
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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?
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.