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Part 2: Teach, model, define

You can use these approaches and activities to teach children how to use suffixes and prefixes to change the status, meaning and spelling of words.

  • Use a number of root words to generate examples of how a word may change its status, meaning and spelling by adding prefixes and suffixes. For example, love, loving, loved, unloved, lovely, beloved, loveliest, and lovelier and care, caring, cared, uncaring, careless, and careful.
  • Invite the children to find as many ways as possible of transforming the word appear, using prefixes and suffixes. Collect examples, such as appear, disappear, appearing, reappear, appearance and apparition.
  • Discuss spelling changes and changes in meaning.
  • Collect prefixes which transform words into negatives, such as un-, de-, anti-, dis-, and il-
  • During a Quick-write activity, you can use one of the prefixes to transform words such as like, legal, and freeze.
  • Collect suffixes for changing verbs to nouns, which may help the children to put the words in context. For example:
    • I wanted to educate my children.
    • The pupils at Brown Street school were given a good…
    • The teacher was kind to me.
    • The teacher showed me great…
  • Explain to the children that there are many different types of suffixes that can be used to create nouns or adjectives and they are going to add to what they know already by investigating and practising using some more of the common suffixes.
  • Summarise what you have taught during this part, for example:
    • -ate, -en, -ify, -ise are suffixes for changing nouns to verbs.
    • -tion, -ity, -ness are suffixes for changing verbs to nouns.
    • de-, dis-, un-, anti-, non- are prefixes for negation.