Teaching Root Words, Prefixes, and Suffixes

I'm helping my nine year old son learn to use root words, prefixes, and suffixes to help him understand the meanings of some words he skips over while reading. I learned a new reading term in the process.

The new term I learned is morphological awareness. Morphological awareness is the ability to understand and correctly use small words, letters, and letter combinations that change the meaning of a word.

Here's a helpful resource:
First School Years: Prefixes and Suffixes


julie Niles Petersen said...

I am a fan of teaching prefixes and suffixes, too. After reading quite a bit about morphology, I became a huge fan of Patricia Cunningham's "Nifty Thrifty Fifty" because it focuses on the 20 most common prefixes and suffixes. According to the research, there is more benefit in teaching the prefixes because they have more meaning tied to them than suffixes do.

I posted some resources for them at the Educator's PLN at: If you Google, "Nifty Thrifty Fifty," you will find a plethora of other resources.

I look forward to checking out your resources.

Eventually, I will write a blog post (or series) about how I used them with students.

Parent and Child Reading Assistance said...

Thank you for you input, Julie. I know you've spent time learning about every aspect of teaching reading. Your blog is amazing! The resources you share in your sidebar are great!
I'm happy to know the benefits of teaching prefixes. It gives me a starting point with my son. It's nice to help him one on one and teach with whatever book he is reading.
I googled Nifty Thrifty Fifty. I think it is a subscription site. There's a 30 day free trial. I might look into it.
I edited my post and added a book by Patricia Cunningham to the list of books from Amazon.

Julie Niles Petersen said...


I am so sorry for not getting back to you. Apparently, I did not tick the box (if there was one) to subscribe to comments, so I did not see your response until now.

Anyway... I have not spent time learning about *every* aspect of teaching reading, but I do my best. :)Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. My blog has been a labor of love.

I just Googled "Nifty Thrifty Fifty" to see what came up and I got 6,670 results, so I'm not sure which site you are referring to. Maybe you were referring to my link to the Educator's PLN? If so, that is a Ning site just like the WeTeach Ning. It is free to join and there are so many great people there. I think your WeTeach username and password are the same on both sites.

Good luck with your son and I look forward to following the journey.

BookChook said...

Breaking words into syllables (or what I call chunks) is not always easy for kids to learn. I like to play a game from when they're young where I tap out syllables on a child's arm while we say a word. That leads to all sorts of games like using counters to indicate a syllable on a word written in large font, or creating new words from known chunks. Anything that can involve a learner's different senses and movements, and make it fun as your games above Michelle, that I believe is the key to making learning effective.