Lesson plan

Prefix Partner Practice

Students will enjoy playing a dice game in this interactive lesson on prefixes and their meanings.
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Students will be able to define the meaning of common prefixes, and generate multiple examples of words with prefixes.

(5 minutes)
  • Write the words 'pretest, preview, and preheat' on the board and ask students to turn to a partner to discuss the meanings of these words.
  • Underline the prefix 'pre' in each of the words and circle the rest of the word. Tell students that these words are made up of a prefix (underlined) and a root word (circled). In this case, the prefix 'pre' means before.
  • Tell students that a prefix is a group of letters that cannot stand on its own and must be attached to the beginning of a root word, to create a new word with a different meaning.
(10 minutes)
  • Inform students that it is important to understand the meaning of prefixes because it will help them to decipher and make meaning of new vocabulary words they come across that contain a prefix.
  • On a piece of chart paper, create a chart with three columns labeled 'Prefix, Definition, and Examples'.
  • Fill out the chart, with student input, for the following prefixes: un (not), mis (wrong), dis (not), re (again), anti (against), super (above or beyond).
  • Clarify any student misconceptions as you complete the chart. Feel free to add other prefixes as they arise.
  • Display the Learning Prefixes worksheet on the document camera and show students how to combine the prefix with the root word to create a new word. Pause to ensure that students familiarize themselves with these prefixes and their meanings.
(10 minutes)
  • Distribute the Prefix Practice: Dis-, Non-, Un- worksheet to the students and guide them through the first section of the sheet, in which they must add a prefix to the root words. Some words work with multiple prefixes, so be sure to discuss this with students.
  • Instruct students to write a silly paragraph at the bottom of the worksheet, using some of the words they created.
  • Invite students to share their paragraph with the class.
(10 minutes)
  • Tell students that they will practice making words with prefixes in a partner game.
  • Assign numbers 1-6 for the prefixes written on the chart paper earlier in the lesson (For example, 1 = un, 2 = dis, and so on).
  • Hand out a die and some scratch paper to each pair of students.
  • Tell them that they will take turns rolling the die. The number they roll corresponds to a prefix (see chart) and they must come up with a word that contains that prefix. Tell students to write the words they come up with on scratch paper.
  • At the end of the game, have partners compare their lists to see how many words with prefixes they came up with.


  • Allow students to use a dictionary when playing the dice game to help them come up with words.
  • Prior to teaching this lesson, teach some of the common prefix meanings in a small group using a picture book (see additional resources).

  • Enrichment:
  • During Independent Work Time, encourage students to use the word in a sentence.
  • Students can research the origins of some of the common prefixes (Greek or Latin).
(3 minutes)
  • Write the following words on the board: semicircle, semiconscious, semiformal.
  • Ask students to turn to a partner and define the prefix that these words share. Listen to student conversation to gauge their understanding.
  • Call on a few students to share their answers.
(2 minutes)
  • Tell students to go on a prefix hunt the next time they are reading in class. Tell them they are welcome to add to the chart paper created in the beginning of the lesson.

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