Discovering Knowledge about Prefixes

Overview: 

This lesson looks at the prefix re and shows that we have a lot of unconscious knowledge of prefixes and the word roots they attach to.

Grade Level: 
Grades 6-8
Class Time Needed: 
30 minutes
Lesson Plan: 

Prefixes: Solving some re- mysteries

A. Here are some words that begin with the prefix re-
We can use a + to separate the prefix from the root.

rewash re+wash
redo ______________
reshuffle ______________
rewrite ______________

Questions about re-:

1. What meaning does it add?

2. How is it pronounced? (Check which one.)
___ long e (rhymes with ski)
___ \&\#601; schwa (rhymes with the a in around)

B. Here are some more words that begin with re- .
Some have the prefix. Some don't.
Can you tell which are which?
Think about (1) meaning and (2) how the re sounds.

repaint respond reverse relock

C. These words are tricky. See if you can see why.

repair record

D. By now, you have probably realized that re- goes on
roots that are verbs. But it can't go on just any verb.
Look at these. (A * means that the word sounds weird.)

redye *redie

This is a tricky pair. The words sound the same (they're homophones), but re- can go on only one of
them. Can you figure out why?

E. Here's another tricky one.
Why is the second sentence better than the first?

*Max reran.
Max reran the race.

These are all weird too:

*rego, *recry, *resleep, *resit, *redie, *revanish

Why?