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Literacy Retreat 2012


Increasing Vocabulary & Spelling = Prefix + Root + Suffix

Use the Add it Up! black line master and anchor paper to have students expand their knowledge of word parts.

Students in the upper grades can Be the Bard like Shakespeare and invent new words based on their knowledge of word parts (Automand; Liquid Transportation Device).

Cinquain poems allow students to go beyond the literal definition to an inferential way to describe the meaning of words. Use the Marina anchor paper, black line master, or Notebook file for your interactive white board to teach students how to think deeply about the meaning of the words.

Word Spokes help students to list words that have the part and have a pictorial representation of the word. Use the single or double-word spoke as a black line master, anchor papers, and the Notebook files to teach students to do this activity in whole-class lessons, small groups, or alone.

The building blocks chart shows students how many words can be learned by knowing the roots. Put the affixes down the “x” axis and the bases along the “y” axis. Meet in the middle to see if it can make a new word. Use the anchor paper to show that not all parts can make a new word.

Draw it! Charts allow students to have a visual representation for what the word means. (Word Parts mini-lesson also available in a PDF or a PPT without animation.) Use the Notebook files on your interactive white board to model and do this lesson. Use the PowerPoint template to customize a lesson with your own word parts. Here are word part student samples.

Build anchor charts with visual representation of the root and add the words you encounter all year (see VIS, TRI, MOT, and HYDRO charts below).


Access the PowerPoint template used during the session to explain “The Jeopardy Principle” in solving words.

Use this search engine to find words that have specific word parts you need for your lessons. Follow the shortcuts to do a detailed search.

To make free flashcards for a variety of word study activities use this site to create games such as Concentration.

Flocabulary is a subscription site that teaches vocabulary (and many other subjects) through rap, videos, and songs. It also offers many free videos on its site and through YouTube.


A game to help students use multiple clues to figure out words based on meaning, number of letters in the word, and some unusual word parts.

An interactive way for students to learn new parts, study those parts, and be assessed on how deeply they understand the parts.

Professional Books

Greek & Latin Roots: Keys to Building Vocabulary, Timothy Rasinski, Nancy Padak, Rick M. Newton, and Evangeline Newton

Words Their Way, Donald Bear, Marcia Invernizzi, Shane Templeton, & Francine Johnston

The Reading Teacher’s Book of Lists, Edward B. Fry, Ph.D. & Jacqueline E. Kress EdD.

Children’s Books

Gifts from the Gods: Ancient Words and Wisdom from Greek and Roman Mythology, Lise Lunge-Larson

Happy Endings: A Story About Suffixes, Robin Pulver

If You Were a Prefix, Marcie Aboff

If You Were a Suffix, Marcie Aboff

If You Were a Plural Word, Trisha Speed Shaskan

Oh My Gods!: A Look-it-Up Guide to the Gods of Mythology (Mythlopedia), Megan E. Bryant