Lesson plan

Wonder Words

Have your students experienced the wonder of word transformations? With this lesson, your students will see words change into different parts of speech, all with the magic of a suffix!
Grade Subject View aligned standards
  • Students will be able to identify subtle changes in word structures when suffixes are added.
  • Students will be able to determine the meanings of several related words.
(10 minutes)
  • Give students part of a word, such as the word sun, and challenge the students to make as many words as they can with that word.
  • Time students for one minute, and then allow students to share the words that they made.
  • Following this activity, tell the students that they will be learning how to create new words from existing words using suffixes.
  • Explain that words can take different forms as different parts of speech, including nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs.
  • Briefly review the differences between the parts of speech.
(10 minutes)
  • Demonstrate the process of changing the form of a group of words (such as the words, act, activity, active, actively) by adding suffixes.
  • Use the words in context, writing a sentence with each of the words on the board.
  • Discuss the different uses of the words in the variety of contexts.
(15 minutes)
  • Divide students into small groups of three or four.
  • Give each group a set of word cards.
  • Ask the students to compare and contrast the words, noticing similarities and differences.
  • Challenge the students to use each word in the set in different contexts.
  • Circulate around the room to assist groups as needed.
  • Once all groups are finished, invite each group to share their observations and word uses with the rest of the class.
(15 minutes)
  • Ask the students to complete the worksheet, Subtle Changes.
  • Circulate around the room and if needed, assisting students in locating similar words before they write an explanation.


  • Give students one form of a word and challenge them to brainstorm how they can change the form of the word.
  • Invite students to write a paragraph using multiple word forms and then trade with a partner to identify the differences in word use.


  • Guide the students in completing the Word Transformations worksheet.
  • Use interactive whiteboard software or quizlet for students to match words that have similar roots.
  • Ask students to create charts, flowcharts, or visuals that represent the different meaning of similar words that do and don’t have suffixes.
(10 minutes)
  • Give students several words that can be changed using a suffix.
  • Ask students to write the related words and to use all of the words in sentences.
  • Circulate around the room to check that students understand how to use suffixes and how the changes in word structure affect the meaning of the words.
(5 minutes)
  • Lead the class in a group discussion.
  • Challenge the students: How can they differentiate between similar words and how the words are used? What makes certain words a noun, adjective, verb, or adverb?

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