Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wonderful Word Wednesday: Greek and Latin Prefix & Suffixes

For the past three weeks on Wonderful Word Wednesday, our class has teleported back in time to become Cryptokids. Cryptomania is one of the best mentor texts that I have ever used. It is student friendly and has amazing illustrations and excellent text examples that support the meanings. I have struggled for a long time on teaching Greek and Latin prefixes and suffixes.  I knew how to teach it but I never saw the transfer of the skills to my student's writing or vocabulary. Last year, our team ordered multiple copies of this book, so I was ready to have fun this year being teleported back in time.

Organized chaos while working on posters.
I introduced the book by setting the stage that our class was going to be teleported back to ancient Greece. This was very exciting for the kids as well as creating some curiosity about the time frame. The next thing I did was have each student adopt a Greek or Latin prefix or suffix by pulling a slip of paper out of the hat.  These corresponded to examples that would be found in the book. Each student spent a week of secrecy researching and learning about their new prefix or suffix. 

Working hard on their poster
The following Wednesday, we did the great reveal which was really fun because the students did not know that I had duplicated the slips of paper, so each student said their prefix/suffix I would hear "I have that one too."  After each student found their partner, we created a class rubric for designing their posters. This was interesting because they had such a wide variety of research that they wanted to include  much higher level
information than I thought of originally.

I love the pop up little book.
The following Wednesday the students finished their posters, and they presented them to the class.  This was exciting because this is when all the connections and light bulb moments happened during their presentations.

*Many of the prefixes and suffixes could be combined to make new words and until the students saw all the posters they did not realize this.
*Some of the students were able to create new words that they didn't think about prior to the presentations.
*As a class, the students decided they wanted to search for these prefix/suffixes in their JR books or even text books. I agreed to xerox the page and we would add the new words.  

This is where I think the connections will occur with the student's writing as well as expanding their vocabulary. Time to be teleported back to Ohio-it was a successful journey!



  1. I am going to have to add this book to my ever increasing book list.

  2. Wow! I love this! I have been struggling the how to teach Greek/Latin prefixes & suffixes in a more hands on, authentic way! Thanks to you...I have it! Just ordered the book and can't wait to get started!

  3. So glad I could help both of you the students are still using the anchor posters so I know this year finally their learning has transferred to their own reading and writing. It only took me a few years to figure it out :)