Lesson plan

Spelling with Suffixes

Spelling is sensational with common suffixes! With this lesson, your students will learn how to navigate various suffixes and use them as they create and spell new words.
Grade Subject View aligned standards
  • Students will be able to apply and use common suffixes to spell new words.
  • Students will be able to recognize the word structure and patterns of words with suffixes.
(10 minutes)
  • Review common suffixes with a quick brainstorm on a piece of chart paper. At the top of the chart paper, write the suffix -less and invite students to brainstorm as many words as they can think of that contain this suffix.
  • As students name the words list the words on the chart paper under the suffix, -less.
  • Continue with the suffixes -est and -ful, using the same process.
  • Tell the students that they will be learning how to use more difficult suffixes to spell words.
(10 minutes)
  • Display the prepared chart paper on the board with the new suffixes and meanings.
  • Using six words from the suggested list (enjoy, America, friend, art, ideal, and absent) show the students how you can reference the suffix list and choose the appropriate suffix to create a new word from each of the words.
  • Write the newly created words on the board, color-coding the suffixes by writing the suffixes in a different color: enjoyable, American, friendship, artist, idealism, and absence.
  • Tell the students that now they will be practicing how to add suffixes to existing words and create new words.
(15 minutes)
  • Distribute one grid to each student along with a set of counters or bingo chips.
  • Display the word cards in a pocket chart or tape them to the board.
  • Tell the students that they will be playing a game of suffix bingo. Ask the students to write one word in each space. Words can be mixed up.
  • Ask the students to use the words to create new words with the suffixes listed on the board.
  • After all students have finished, take the cards down from the board and use them as bingo cards, drawing a card and calling it out.
  • When a student gets bingo, ask for the student to tell you both the word and the new word they wrote with one of the suffixes.
(10 minutes)


  • Challenge students with words with suffixes that do not follow traditional spelling patterns. (e.g., sensible, durable, excellence, and importance)


  • Give students a few number of choices. (Narrow down possible suffixes to two or three per question.)
  • Reteach and give students examples of similar words with suffixes.
  • Challenge students to create a flowchart or visual that shows the progression of words before and after suffix additions.
  • Invite students to electronically color code the suffixes for the words studied.
(5 minutes)
  • Write several words with suffixes on the board, some spelled correctly and others spelled incorrectly.
  • As you point to each word, ask the students to give you a hand signal (such as thumbs up/thumbs down) indicating whether the spelling is correct or incorrect.
  • If the spelling is incorrect, ask students to write the correct spelling on their individual whiteboards with their individual whiteboard markers.
(5 minutes)
  • Divide students up into pairs.
  • Challenge the students to create as many words with the suffixes from the lesson as they can.
  • Tell the students that the first person will write the word without the suffix and the second person will add the suffix.
  • Invite pairs of students to share their brainstorm with the rest of the class.

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