Lesson: Prefixes

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Lesson Objective

Students will define common prefixes and create words using knowledge of prefixes.

Lesson Plan

Connection (3-5 mins):  Readers, today we will begin a short study on words.  As we grow as readers, we often see new words that we are not familiar with or do not know how to read.  It is important to have a toolkit of strategies that we can use to solve for these unknown words. 


Teach (10-12 mins): Students should be seated on the carpet with a partner.  They will be expected to turn and talk to this partner throughout the lesson. Readers, today we will learn about a part of a word that can change the words meaning.  This is called a prefix.  Prefixes are a group of letters added to the beginning of a word that changes the meaning of the word.  It is important to remember that prefixes are added to the beginning of a word.  As a class we will be responsible for understanding the meaning of eight prefixes.  Let’s look at those prefixes now.  Teacher shows teaching chart for the day with the following examples.






























The first prefix we will learn means before and is shown with the letters, pre.  My example was the word preview.  To preview means to watch before so when you watch previews at a movie, you are watching advertisements before the movie you paid to view.  Turn and tell your partner another example of a word with the prefix, pre.  Students turn and talk as teacher listens in to student conversations.  Students share their responses and teacher adds to chart.


I know we have learned about prefixes before in class, but this lesson is very different because we will focus on word parts and figuring out unknown words for the next few days.  This will help you become better readers because if you are able to break down a word into it’s different parts, you are much more likely to understand the word meaning and move up a reading level. 


Teacher continues to read through the chart allowing students to share their own examples after turning and talking with a partner. Teacher highlights great student responses and adds them to the teaching chart.


Now that we have went through all the examples, you will have a chance to create your own words.  Each of you will be assigned a partner and be given note-cards and a marker.  You will write the prefixes on each card.  I will give you more than eight cards so choose a few prefixes to write on more than one card.  After you have made your prefix cards, you and a partner will have a chance to make as many words as you can with these prefixes. 


Watch me as I show you what I mean.  Teacher places game board on the overhead and has an example of prefix cards already made. I will draw a prefix card and write the prefix on my game board.  I drew the card re.  Now I need to think of a word that I know has the prefix re.  That word is redo.  I will write the word do under the heading root word.  Now putting the two word parts together, I know the definition of redo is to do something again.  I will add the word redo to our list of words at the bottom of the game board.  Now it is my partners turn to try to create a word.  It is important to remember we are practicing defining the words so if you can’t figure out the meaning of the word you created it may not be a word or it may not follow the same prefix rules. 


I will be walking around to help you think of words but you can also look in the dictionary as well.  Off you go readers. 


Active Engagement (15-20 mins): Students return to their seats to work with a partner.  During this time the teacher should conference with students or pull a small group of students for extra support. 


Exit Slip/Share (3-5 mins): I laminate the game boards so that students can write on the boards each time and then erase their writing.  They have to write a list of the words they created on a separate sheet of paper and I collect that sheet as an exit slip.  You may also informally assess by having students share out some examples of words they created and share the definition of those words. 


Reflection: My students really enjoy this lesson because they don’t have to return to their seats and complete a worksheet but they get to interact with a partner in a hands on way.  Again, I laminated the game boards which makes the activity more fun for students because they can write with dry erase markers and wipe off the boards each time.  It’s easy to create in the beginning of the school year and as the year progresses you can add new prefixes to the game having it serve as a center throughout the year. 

Lesson Resources

prefix game board.doc  


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