Monday, January 20, 2014

Prefixes! Roots! Suffixes! Oh My!

Guess what we've been studying? 
Pretty much what it seems everyone else has been studying! 

As I finished my Greek Mythology unit with my 4th grade enrichment friends, we closed by studying Greek word parts. The picture above shows the standards we met and a quick view of the big letters.  Take a look at the finished display below, and I'll explain just what we did.  Ignore my pocketbook and mess on the table!

After finishing reading various myths and completing projects related to them, we went on to finish the unit with a study of Greek roots.  I found a great resource for this on Teacher Pay Teachers.  It is a unit of Greek roots that comes with illustrated examples.  Below are just some of the cards that come with the unit.  My friends got the biggest thrill when they connected the fact that in the myth The 12 Labors of Heracles the water serpent he killed was named Hydra which related to the root hydr/hydra and means water.  It all sort of clicked like magic for them.  There's a lot that comes with this resource including the making of a tiny box which holds a tiny version of all the cards.  Each of my friends had their own box of cards and we wrote additional words we could brainstorm on the back of each card.

Once we had studied most of the cards included in the unit, we went on to look at more common prefixes, roots, and suffixes that fourth graders will run into that may or may not be of Greek etymology.  I created a packet which listed some of each, their meaning, a couple of examples, and a column for my friends to work with a partner to brainstorm more words they knew which fit.
I had drawn some of them freehand (which is why some of them look a little wonky!) on white oak tag and spread them out on the floor.  After we had reviewed and discussed our packets, the kids were given a Sharpie and a highlighter.  They wrote their words on the corresponding poster, underlining the prefix/root/suffix.  We then hung them in the room.

I got the inspiration for the big letters from a Pinterest picture posted by the blogger of Smitten with First.  She was doing a lesson on suffixes and made some big letters of the most common ones. 
When I saw her picture, I knew it would work perfectly with my friends.  Some lessons just span the grade levels!

This lesson turned out to be a lot of fun for us all.  Having the display in my room has encouraged all the kids to constantly try and think of new words that could be added.  I told them we would create a chart to add the words to.  There is not way I am climbing on top of those shelves again!  :-)  While I did the is lesson with enrichment students, it is very much a great way to teach word parts to children of all grades and ability levels. 


On a different note, Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day! 
It is a day to remember a great man and the courage and grace he showed in the face of intolerance and discrimination.  Last year, my friends and I had school on this day in order to make up days lost to Hurricane Sandy.  It prompted me to write a post on some of the activities I was planning to do in remembrance.  This year, like many of you, we are off today.  I know it is a little late, but if you are looking for something to do tomorrow, you can click HERE to see the post I wrote.  It includes several links to videos, activities, and lessons.

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