Monday, April 1, 2013

Greek or Latin Oh My?

Several years ago our 5th grade word study program began to focus on Greek and Latin roots to help encourage our students to think about words differently but more importantly begin to break words into small parts for understanding.  This is where my journey started with small baby steps including several anchor charts and learning along with the students. 

I just introduced our first two: aqua and hydro to my class this week, (Shh don't tell anyone I am sure I am not on the correct district timeline) but my students weren't ready yet for such higher level thinking.  I used a keynote for my introductory lesson and most students knew they both meant "water" but when I put the above image in my presentation none of them knew the name of it. Not a big deal but an opportunity for great learning to occur.

The next slide had the word: aqueduct on it.  With questions: What do you recognize about this word?  Where have you seen this word?  After that conversation, I showed them this video clip about aqueducts.  I learned an important lesson that day about Greek and Latin roots.  Students need to understand the connections with history along with understanding how so many words are interconnected. 

My goal with all word study lessons is inquiry and allowing my students time for exploration. I had opened the door to a new word learning, and the students left that day ready to explore.  Two days later, using our digital camera students shared their new words and the conversations were amazing.  I didn't know...  Did you realize.... I have the noun you have the same word used as an adjective.... What is that again?  I never heard of that word (that was said from their teacher). Here are 3 index cards with their new learning. We're on our way......

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