Lesson plan

Searching for Suffixes

Invite your students to join the search for suffixes! In this lesson students will locate similar words that have gone through a suffix transformation. In addition to the mechanics, students will explore the meaning behind each word!
Grade Subject View aligned standards
  • Students will be able to determine and identify changes in word structure when suffixes are added to existing words.
  • Students will be able to explain subtle differences in word and sentence meaning when identifying words with and without suffixes in context.
(5 minutes)
  • List the following words on the board: verb, noun, adjective, and adverb.
  • Draw a line under each word and invite the students to share an example of each part of speech.
  • Tell the students that they will be learning how to recognize how suffixes impact different words and the corresponding context in which the words are used.
(10 minutes)
  • Tell the students that sometimes suffixes can be used to change the form of words, such as to change an adjective to an adverb or change a verb to a noun.
  • Display the teacher modeling sentences from the lesson plan attachment, either by displaying on interactive whiteboard or writing on a whiteboard.
  • Show the students how you can find corresponding words, one in each sentence.
  • Circle each word and think aloud, discussing with the students how the suffix added to the first word changed the meaning of the second word.
(10 minutes)
  • Display the guided practice group of sentences or print and cut apart each group of sentences.
  • Divide students into groups of three or four, jigsawing the activity.
  • Assign each group a pair of sentences and ask them to locate the pair of matching words and describe how the meaning changed when comparing the two sentences.
  • Invite students from each group to share their sentences and explain their thinking.
(15 minutes)
  • Ask the students to complete the worksheet, Suffix Sleuth.
  • Circulate around the room, giving guidance to students as needed.


  • Challenge students to brainstorm and create webs or concept maps that include related words with other suffixes. For example, in addition to the words ship and shipper, the following words can be written: shipment and shipped.


  • If students need extra practice building words with suffixes, ask the students to complete the Varying Verbs worksheet.
  • Ask students to create a digital web showing the relationships between chosen words, including words that have suffixes and words that do not have added suffixes.
(5 minutes)
  • Present the students with several suffixes used in the lesson and ask the students if it is added to a certain word will it correctly make a new word.
  • Ask students to complete an exit card explaining their thinking.
  • Repeat with additional examples, as needed.
(5 minutes)
  • Distribute a sticky note to each student.
  • Ask students to write two related words (one with an added suffix) and explain how the words can be used in different contexts.
  • Invite students to participate in a gallery walk, walking around the room to view other students’ responses.

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