Lesson Plan

Root Word Detectives

In this lesson, your students will use root words and patterns to explore new and unfamiliar words.
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Learning Objectives

Students will be able to determine the meaning of new words using root words and related words.


(5 minutes)
  • Write a challenging word on the board that uses Greek or Latin roots (e.g. "chiropodist," which is “a doctor who specializes in feet,” "sesquipedalian," which is Latin for “one and half feet long,” or "hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia," which means “the fear of long words”).
  • Ask students to try to figure out what the word means with a partner. Students will likely not know the correct meaning, but give them some time to puzzle through the process of decoding (e.g. “This is a really challenging word! Can you and your partner try to figure out what it means?”).
  • Ask students what they do when they come across a word like this that they don’t know. As a class, discuss the strategies they used.
  • Explain that a detective looks for clues to solve a problem. Then tell students that they will be word detectives and will use clues to determine the meaning of new or unfamiliar words.