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Prefixes and Suffixes

1 Teach / Model

To show how adding a prefix or a suffix changes the meaning of a root word, display this chart:

Prefix/Suffix + Root Word = New Word re-less -ous + read + home + joy = reread = homeless = joyous Meaning read again without a home full of joy

Prefixes and Suffixes · A prefix is a word part that comes at the beginning of a word. · A suffix is a word part that comes at the end of a word.

Point to re- and explain: re- is a prefix. A prefix is a word part that you add to the beginning of a root word. re- means "again," so when you add it to read, it means "read again." Continue with -less: -less is a suffix. A suffix is a word part that you add to the end of a root word. -less means "without," so when you add it to home, it means "without a home." Repeat for the suffix -ous.

2 Practice

Use the Multi-Level Strategies to tailor the practice to students' proficiency levels:

BEGINNING Display these sentences. Guide students in orally completing each sentence with the correct affixed word. 1. A dangerous hurricane is approaching our town! (full of danger) 2. Our neighbors helped us rebuild our fence. (build again) 3. Don't be careless. Put your lunch bag in the trash can. (without care) INTERMEDIATE Have partners copy and complete each sentence above. Then have them identify the root word and the prefix or suffix in each correct answer. Encourage them to write a new sentence for each affixed word. ADVANCED Have partners identify the root word, tell the meaning of the prefix or suffix, determine the meaning, and write a sentence for these words: redirect, harmless, courageous.


© Hampton-Brown

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Prefixes and Suffixes



Have students apply the skill in a book at their independent reading levels:

War of the Worlds Tornado Franklin D. Roosevelt

Students can read with a partner. Have them find five words with prefixes or suffixes and complete this chart.

Prefix/Suffix + + + Root Word = = = New Word Meaning

Advanced students can extend this activity by forming new sentences for each affixed word.


Ask students to define a prefix and a suffix. (A prefix is a word part that comes at the beginning of a word; a suffix comes at the end of a word. Prefixes and suffixes change the meanings of root words.)


© Hampton-Brown

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