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Build Vocabulary with Prefixes and Suffixes

Build Vocabulary with Prefixes and Suffixes Activity

based on 33 ratings

Learning prefixes and suffixes is a great way to boost vocabulary quickly. However, these letter combos are best learned in the context of the words that they create. Here's a game to get your child thinking about these beginnings and endings—in between plenty of shouting and laughing!

What You Need:

  • Index cards
  • Markers
  • Dictionary

What You Do:

  1.  Go over these lists of prefixes and suffixes with your child:

Common Prefixes

Prefix

Meaning

Example

pre-

before

preview

un-

not

unbelievable

dis-

not

disagree

re-

again

rewrite

mis-

not

misunderstood

im-

not

impossible

bi-

two

bicycle

de-

not

deregulated

 

 

Common Suffixes

Suffix

Meaning

Example

-er

doer

teacher

-able

able to

unbelievable

-ous

full of

dangerous

-ness

state of being

happiness

-ful

full of

wonderful

-ly or -y

like

gently

-ment

state of

government

  1. Ask your child to take the stack of index cards and label each card with a prefix or suffix from the list above.
  2. Shuffle all the cards and turn them face down in one pile. As the dealer, it's your job to flip over the top card and lay it face up. The first player who can shout out a word that uses the prefix or suffix correctly, and can provide the definition of the prefix or suffix, gets to keep that card for his pile. You may want to keep a dictionary handy, just in case some funny words come tumbling out. The person with the most cards at the end of the game wins!

​For even more practice with prefixes and suffixes check out our word smash worksheet!

Jane Oh has taught third and fourth grades for 8 years. She has worked with many diverse groups of students. Most recently, she has written teacher textbook guides.

Updated on May 6, 2014
Printable Workbooks from Education.com
Find a printable workbook to go along with this fun activity. See Workbooks
See more activities in: Third Grade, Vocabulary
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