I thought that this lesson might be a little more fun if I had them work in collaborative groups. Students who struggle with writing would have good role models and be able to work together to find success.
I started by asking them to take out a white and marker. I then numbered them into groups of four. I did this randomly and helped them count off. I then had them move to the area I had designated for their group. Once they got settled I went over some basic group rules, be respectful, be helpful, and make sure every one gets a chance to work.
To open the activity I asked them to work together to brainstorm a collection of suffixes they know. I gave them one prompt, a suffix is an ending we add to words that change their meaning.
As they write, I write the word suffix on my white board. I then ask that each group take turns adding a suffix to the large white board. Students walk up and add their suffix and before I read them I ask if there are any we are missing. A few students come forward and add a couple. At first glance, I realize that some of them are not suffixes. I go over the list and ask the groups that gave that suffix for a sentence example. I write the word containing the suffix onto the white board. When I get to the few that are not suffixes the group struggles to figure out a sentence and this also stumps the class. Instead of explaining that they are not suffixes, I simply ask to circle them so we can remember to review them when we have a better idea of what a suffix is.
To go over suffixes I am going to read, Happy Endings: A Story About Suffixes by Robin Pulver. I ask the class to listen and look at the words as I read them. All of the suffixes in the book are red and easy to see if I walk around and show the pages. If they hear a suffix we forgot, I want them to write it down on their white boards so we can add it afterwards.
I read and point out various things I notice about the suffixes in the book. One of those, is how some words remove the "e" to add a suffix. I model this on the board to make sure they understand. When I finish reading, I ask them if we missed in suffixes from the book. They realize we did and we will now need to add them. The suffixes that were forgotten were -less, -ness, and -est. We add those to the board. As I am doing this a student notices that the circled endings on the board are not suffixes. We discuss this briefly and decide to remove them.
Now that we have a list of suffixes, I assign a suffix to each group. I choose the suffixes that they are not use to suing very often. Each group will now write a sentence using the assigned suffix. The trick is that each student has to have a different sentence on their white board in the group, but use the suffix. I remind them that they need to work together and make sure that everyones sentences have proper punctuation and capitalization. The idea is to help each other create good sentences to share with the class using their suffix.
I give them time to do this and then I have each group share their sentences. As a class we decide if their sentence looks good and whether or not they used the suffix properly.