Lesson Plan

Roots, Prefixes, and Suffixes

Help your students determine the meaning of new and unfamiliar words using roots, prefixes, and suffixes. The skills learned in this lesson will strengthen your students’ vocabulary skills and will support decoding and spelling.
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Learning Objectives

Students will be able to determine the meaning of words using roots, prefixes, and suffixes.


(8 minutes)
  • Write the word REHEATED on the board.
  • Tell students: If you look at this word carefully, you might notice that it has smaller words hidden inside.
  • Underline the root word HEAT and explain that this is the root word and, even though it is part of the word REHEATED, it can also stand alone.
  • Explain: "A root word is the simplest form of a word. It can have beginnings and endings added to it. When we combine root words with beginnings or endings, it creates new words. Now we are going to look for the beginning and endings that were added to the root word HEAT."
  • Point out the prefix RE- and explain that, in this word, RE- is the beginning, or prefix, that is attached to the root word to alter its meaning (e.g. “RE- means again, so when we see this word, we know that it means to ‘heat again.’”).
  • Point out the suffix -ED and explain: "This is added to the end of the word, so it is called a suffix. A suffix can change the part of speech or tense of a word. -ED is added to words to make them past tense. That means the root word HEAT, a verb, happened in the past. So, now we know that reheated means 'heated again in the past.'"
  • Explain: "Each of these word parts contribute to the meaning of a word. Knowing about root words, suffixes, and prefixes can help you determine the meaning of unfamiliar words."