Day 1: Prefix Lesson
Day 2-3: Prefix Meanings Lesson
Step 1: Prep
Step 2: Whole Class Lesson
After we completed one page of paint cans, I asked students see if any of the prefixes had similar meanings. They worked with their shoulder partners.
After that we went on and did the rest of the prefixes following the same steps.
Day 4: Hands-On Prefix Activities
Step 1: Task Card Sort
Now that the students had the prefixes in their grammar notebooks, I had them work on Winter Prefix Practice by 2SpeakRight. I did have kids work with a partner as some of the words can be challenging, and it is always more fun to work with a partner in fifth grade;) I really love this center. It is not a free product, but I will tell you that I liked it so much that I had my own fourth grader do it at home. It comes with four prefix mats and word stems for each prefix, as well as a work sheet for each mat. Students need to sort the stems onto the prefix mats. Each prefix has five word stems that match. Some mats are tricky, because the word stem could fit more than one prefix. Students need to think it through to have five for each. (Blank cards are included so that you can add different word stems.) The work sheet has a place for students to write their words and then apply to word in sentences.
Step 2: Prefix Trees
Now, not to toot my own horn, but the kids loved this and it took about 10-15 minutes of prep time! I really love crafts, and I like to find ways to use crafts with meaning. On the way to school I kept thinking that our prefix study needed something. I had a pile of paper scraps on the counter and I saw brown strips – BAM. Prefix trees. The true beauty of this is that you just need long strips of brown paper, about 4″ x 4″ squares of other colors, and tape. I decided to cut valentine colors and make heart leaves. In March, I could use the Ellison press and cut out Shamrocks for leaves, etc. An on-going, ever changing ELA board!
So as partners finished up, they turned in their task card answers and selected one of their prefixes to use for their tree. I gave each group a small strip of brown to write the prefix and its meaning, then they taped that to the tree trunk. Next, the partners had to work together to find word with their prefix (hint, hint – use the dictionary!) I don’t think my kids had been this engaged all year. I asked each group to find at least 10 words for their tree, and I finally had to tell kids to stop so we could move on. I told them that they could continue adding one words as they had free time. As you can see, each tree was unique – the different groups were explaining to me why they put their leaves the way they did! It was really amazing to see how much they liked this.
Note: I did have to teach how to cut paper hearts. It is a bit shocking to me to see so many fifth graders without these skills, but many of my students do not get to do arts and crafts like I did as a child.
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2SpeakRight and I are each giving away a set of the products we swapped. Enter here and then head on over to their page to read about how they used my Box of Doughnuts book report in their classroom. You can enter again on their blog!
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Do you have any great resources or tips for prefixes?
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Thank you so much for mentioning my prefix paint cans! I'm so glad that you were able to use them. What a great idea to color the prefixes with similar meanings the same color!! The winter prefix practice looks like fun, too! I like how it includes the sorting activity AND the sentence activity!
Thanks so much for joining in!
Learning to be awesome
I love teaching figurative language.
You are welcome, Deb! That was a fun product, and it was great to hold their attention, then color, then get attention, etc.
Me too, Kim! Last year I did poetry during our testing season. We read and wrote a different poem each day, and the kids had books finished by the end of testing! They liked it so much I plan to do it this year, too:D