Teaching analogies is a great way to improve vocabulary skills beginning in the upper elementary grades. The Common Core State Standards include analogies beginning in seventh grade; however, teaching relationships between words begins with the younger grades.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.5.5.c Use the relationship between particular words (e.g., synonyms, antonyms, homographs) to better understand each of the words.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.6.5.b Use the relationship between particular words (e.g., cause/effect, part/whole, item/category) to better understand each of the words.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.7.5.b Use the relationship between particular words (e.g., synonym/antonym, analogy) to better understand each of the words.
Analogies are such an important skill for students to master. Many standardized tests use analogies to check for vocabulary mastery. Common Core states that 4th graders should “Demonstrate understanding of words by relating them to their opposites (antonyms) and to words with similar but not identical meanings (synonyms).” This makes 4th grade a great time for teachers to introduce analogies. Begin by practicing with just synonyms and antonyms.
By learning root words, students can better understand language. Learning just a few root words can increase word knowledge ten-fold. This post includes both free materials and ideas to make learning fun. Begin with this idea…
Root words are often associated with trees. Make a root word tree by drawing a tree shape. Near the base of the tree, write a root word and its meaning. In the branches of the tree, write as many words as you can think of that are created using the root word.Continue Reading
Are you looking for some activities for teaching suffixes? Check out these free materials including activities for Google Slides, videos, anchor charts, and PowerPoints.
Teaching students some common suffixes can increase their vocabulary tremendously. The suffixes -s/-es, -ed, -ing, -ly, -er/-or, -ion/-tion/-ation/-tion, and -ible/-able account for 72 percent of suffixed words. Teaching these 7 suffixes is a must. This first activity goes over the rules for using variations of -ible/-able and -ion.Continue Reading
English is a mix of several languages including French, Italian, Greek and Latin, Vietnamese and so on. This makes the number of words linguists estimate the English language to have extremely large…approximately one million words. About 170,000 of these words are in current use. The average adult English speaker has a vocabulary between 20,000 to 35,000 words. Ninety-five percent of everyday writing and speech in newspapers, most books, movies, etc. use only about 3,000 words. So…how do we prepare our students for college entrance exams when everyday life exposes them to such a narrow list of vocabulary words? —- We teach students prefixes, suffixes, and Greek and Latin roots.
To prevent readers from becoming lost in a tackle of links going all over the Internet to each activity that I mention in the post, I have created this pdf file with links to all prefix activities or resources. Continue Reading
Effect vs Affect – How many times have students struggled with this troublesome pair? How many papers have you graded that confused these words? Before Common Core State Standards, our state standards gave a long list of troublesome word pairs students had to learn. Teaching this skill was monotonous for both students and teachers. Because of this, I experimented with different teaching methods. This skill hasn’t gone away with Common Core. Instead, it has become more general.