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Using the State Curriculum: Reading/ELA, Grade 6

Reading/ELA | Informational | Literary | Writing | Language | Listening | Speaking

Lesson Seeds: The lesson seeds are ideas for the indicator/objective that can be used to build a lesson. Lesson seeds are not meant to be all-inclusive, nor are they substitutes for instruction.

Standard 1.0 General Reading Processes

Topic D. Vocabulary

Indicator 3. Understand, acquire, and use new vocabulary

Objective b. Use word structure to determine the meaning of words


Prior to this activity the teacher should teach students prefixes, suffixes, and root words. Charts like the following should help students break down word parts in an effort to understand word meaning.

Prefix: inter
Meaning: between
Example: intersect
Word meaning: between parts or sections
Suffix: able
Meaning: can do
Example: passable
Word Meaning: able to pass through or by
Root: port
Meaning: carry
Example: transport
Word Meaning: to carry across

Using this type of chart in an extended form, students should work in small groups to create as many different words as possible. Each group will be given a root word and accompanying affixes and instructed to form new words. Upon completion, students should share their word lists and their meanings with other members of the class and display their work where all class members can access the information.

Root Word: Struct (to build)
Prefix: in
Prefix: con
Suffix: es or s
Suffix: ion
New Words


Using a classical root word, the teacher should model how the addition of affixes change the root word. For example, if the selection were pathos, which means suffering, words that could be formed from that root are antipathy, apathy, empathy, etc… Using a smart board or any projection device, the teacher will add affixes to the root word and explain how the addition/s adjust the meaning of the word and its usage. The modeling should include the use of the new word in a sentence. Once modeling is complete, the teacher should place students in small groups and supply each group with a root word. Possible root words include frater, which means brother; genos, which means race or family; autos, which means self; etc, Students should follow the modeling and apply affixes to root words. It is acceptable for the group to use resources to build their word list. Students should discuss how the changes in these words cause their usage to change. The teacher should monitor these small group discussions and encourage students to extend their thinking by asking thoughtful questions.