Root Word and
Affix Instruction
Lessons to Improve
Vocabulary Development
Definitions
(Merriam-Webster’s Intermediate Dictionary)

ROOT WORD:
a word or part of a word from which other
words are formed

AFFIX:
a letter or group of letters attached to the
beginning or end of a word that serves to
produce a derivative word or an inflectional
form
AFFIXES

PREFIX –
Appears before the root

SUFFIX –
Appears after the root
Greek and Latin Roots and Affixes
English is a hodge-podge of many
languages, but is primarily comprised
of Greek and Latin roots, prefixes and
suffixes
If you teach students roots and
affixes (rather than a set list of ten
vocabulary words) each week, they
will be able to unlock the meaning
of many more words
 Teaching
Roots and Affixes is a great
interdisciplinary opportunity for Math,
Science and Language Arts
 It
is also a helpful strategy to ESL
students
CSSD
An Approach to Vocabulary-Building

Context

First, look at the words
surrounding the unknown word

Sound


Structure


Dictionary

Sound out the unknown
word
Identify affixes and roots of
the unknown word
Lastly, use a dictionary if the
other methods fail
Resources

Download the following documents for lists of root
words and affixes:




“Vocabulary1”
“Vocabulary2”
“Vocabulary3”
Additional lists can be found in the appendices of When
Kids Can’t Read: What Teachers Can Do, by Kylene Beers
Some Website Resources
Greek and Latin Root Words
http://www.awrsd.org/oak/Library/greek_and_latin_root_
words.htm
 Funbrain.com
http://www.funbrain.com/roots/index.html
 The Phonics Connection
http://www.manateemiddle.org/phonics/newpage12.htm
 The Vocabulary Workshop
http://www.southampton.liunet.edu/academic/pau/course
/webesl.htm

Final Product for Lesson


Submit the lesson plan that
incorporates root word/affix
instruction
Also, submit a professional
reflection (what went well, what
could be improved, etc...), and a
sample of student work (Download “Teacher
Reflection” document)
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Root Word and Affix Instruction