Pirates are always on the lookout for treasure. Teachers are always on the lookout for teaching treasures. This teaching pirate does both; however, she also loves to create treasure for the classroom. Today I will share with you a few vocabulary treasures I have created for the word part, Prefixes. Before we explore the resources though, let's take a look at the importance of Word Parts.
Knowledge of Word Parts unlocks vocabulary treasure for the reader. Because a reader knows the meaning of a particular root, such as audi which means "sound", a reader will be aware of the word's fixed, or base, meaning. For example, when a reader comes across the word, inaudible, and doesn't know its full meaning but does know the root meaning, she realizes that the word has something to do with "sound". At this realization, she would probably reread the sentence to look for context clues that indicate something about "sound".
More than likely, this reader will be aware that the word, inaudible, begins with a prefix, in- meaning "not". Now she realizes that the word has something to do with "not sound" or "no sound". Of course if she doesn't know the meaning of this prefix, she could consult a dictionary or ask someone for help.
Her next step is to examine the ending, or suffix, -ble. She might look this up in the dictionary. She might see a connection with the word, able, as well as the suffix, -able. Some words might pop up in her head such as valuable, capable, usable. As a result, she draws a conclusion that inaudible probably means "not capable of sound" or "not capable of being heard".
Her final step will be rereading the sentence to see if the meaning she has come up with makes sense. In the sentence... The mute button had been turned on so the TV show's dialogue was inaudible... her definition of inaudible does make sense. Of course, if she is not aware of the meaning of mute or dialogue, she may not be confident of her conclusion. In that case, she reads on to see if there are other context clues or consults a dictionary or verifies with a friend or classmate.
Hopefully this scenario has demonstrated the importance of knowing Word Parts and also using context clues when attempting to determine the meaning of an unknown word.
Below are some resources to help you teach Prefixes. This first product, Prefix Hunt, focuses on the "Not" Family of prefixes: un-, dis-, non-, in-, im-, il-, ir-. Included are two sets of target words using these prefixes. For each set there are three engaging activities, two matching games, an assessment, and a list of common prefixes. I've provided the Teaching Tips so you can get a feel for how to implement the unit.
Prefix Search is a FREEBIE that provides the 20 most used prefixes along with a matching game.
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