Suffixes: -less, -ful

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SWBAT use suffixes, -less and -ful, to decipher the meaning of words.

Big Idea

Students learn the meaning of suffixes and how they change the meaning of base words.

Do Now

15 minutes

I told students we were going to learn new affixes called suffixes. I displayed the definition on the document camera and had students write the definition in their notebooks. I also directed their attention to list of suffixes and their definitions and examples I’d posted on the whiteboard. I had students copy the list in their reading notebooks. I did this so that they could easily reference the list during our study.

I directed students to the list of words ending in –ful and –less words on the pocket chart. I randomly called on students to state the meaning of the words by using the definition of the suffix. For example, -less means “without,” so homeless means “without a home.” –Ful means “full of” so hopeful means “full of hope.”

After we analyzed the meaning of various words using suffixes, we played a matching game on the SmartBoard. Students matched words with their definition by using the meaning of the suffix. The SmartBoard is highly engaging for my third graders. I have 100% engagement any time there is an interactive activity. They enjoyed using the pens and selecting which color to use. I randomly called on students using Popsicle sticks to ensure equal participation.

Independent Practice

15 minutes

Students completed a suffix practice sheet for independent practice. They had to complete sentences with a word ending in -ful or -less by using the given definition. I found the sheet here. This required students to use suffix definitions to decipher the meaning of words. I walked around the room as students worked, providing assistance as needed.


10 minutes

I graded the practice sheet to assess how well students understood suffixes -ful and -less. Grading was on a scale of 100. A score of 80% or higher was considered mastery.


5 minutes

To close the lesson, students completed a Ticket Out the Door with the following prompt: Write three things you know about suffixes. I did this so that students could reflect on the day’s learning. It also gave me the opportunity to assess what they knew about suffixes, as it is common for students to confuse them with prefixes.