Finding Parts of Words

Overview: 

This lesson allows students to practice dividing words into morphemes, and opportunities to explore the kinds of linguistic knowledge they use to make such divisions.

Grade Level: 
Grades 3-5
Grades 6-8
Class Time Needed: 
Under 30 minutes
Lesson Plan: 

Finding Parts of Words NAME:________________

Rationale: The more vast your vocabulary, the easier it is for you to understand what you read. Knowing what different word parts mean will help you in at least two ways:

1) You'll learn new vocabulary more readily, and

2) You'll be able to figure out the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary in context easier without having to look up the words.

Objective: Become familiar with how words are put together.

1. Prefixes attach to the beginning of a word:

re + wash = rewash re = prefix

2. Suffixes attach to the end of a word:

read + able = readable able = suffix

3. The part of a word that a prefix or suffix attaches to is called a root:

rewash readable teacher disorganized

4. List the prefixes you find in the following words:

uncool impossible precooked abnormal

______ _________ _________ _________

5. List the suffixes you find in the following words:

serenity quickly excitement friendship

_____ _____ _____ _____

6. List the roots you find in the following words in 5 (they are repeated here):

serenity quickly excitement friendship

_____ ______ ______ ______

7. Parts of words are different from syllables. A word can have several syllables, but only one part. How many syllables does Mississippi have? (Clap for each syllable if that helps you count!)

Mississippi

# of syllables: _____

8. Now, here is a list of two-syllable words that all end in -er. One of them has an -er that is not a suffix? (Circle the right word.)

driver teacher river writer eater

9. Here's another set of words where one doesn't fit. Which one has an -ly that is not a suffix?

Lovely manly timely family

10. Which of the following words (there may be more than one, or none at all) has a prefix or suffix? Circle the word if it does.

catsup finger paper lens singer dogs

11. There is another suffix in English: -able, which occurs in words such as thinkable. Circle all the words below that have this -able suffix.

learnable cable justifiable printable stable

12. Here are a few lists of words. Which list is the one with words that -able can attach to?

count dog tall
speak house pretty
use chair ugly
control lamp sweet
ride lawn easy
fix vehicle difficult

13. Now, let's try to make up a rule for the suffix -able. What kinds of words does -able attach to? And what kinds of words does it not attach to?

The suffix -able attaches to _______________ but not to ______________ or _______________.

13. Now, divide the following words into parts, based on what we've done so far:

taller __________

blueberry __________

retest __________

running __________

untie __________

prescribe __________

walked __________

tallest __________

scissors __________

transmit __________

legalize __________

receive __________

14) How do you determine whether a word contains a prefix?

15) How do you know whether a word contains a suffix?

16) Based on your observations, how are root words different than prefixes and suffixes?

17) What's one thing you've learned about word parts from this activity?