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Get to the Root of the Problem With These Root Word Activities

By Sarah Malburg

Reinforce original lessons on root words by providing interactive activities for student practice. Presenting students with different ways to review is a powerful tool in the learning process. These activities can be used as warm-up or wrap-up activities and do not require a full class period.

Activity 1: Matching Game - Learning Is More Fun With a Game

Divide a sheet of white computer paper into squares – four squares wide by five squares in length. Create 20 squares by dividing the paper in this manner. On one side of the line write the root. Below the line write the meaning. Complete this process for all squares leaving the edges of the paper blank. Copy and laminate for repeated use in the classroom. Cut the squares apart using the lines you drew earlier. The object is for the students to match the root word with the definition. At first, it will take a couple of minutes, but as students become more familiar with the root words the process will become faster.

Activity 2: Create a Root Tree - Fun With Crayons

Model for students how to draw a root tree. On the trunk of the tree, write the root and definition. Draw several branches and write a word on each branch using the root word. Follow up the word with its definition or a sentence using the new word.

Activity 3: Memory Game

Create a game just like you played when you were a kid. On one card write the root word. On the other card write a word using the root, a simple picture of a word using the root or the definition. Put students in groups of 3-5 and encourage them to play memory. The student with the most pairs of cards is the winner.

Activity 4: Create Silly Words

Coordinate this activity with studying prefixes and suffixes. Create a worksheet for students to write a prefix, root word, suffix and definition of the new word. Encourage students to create silly and nonsensical words. Offer prizes for the silliest words.

Activity 5: Pull it out the Hat

Throw several root words into a hat, basket or other container. Divide students into two or three teams. Outline the rules. Students will draw a root, supply the definition, use the root with a word and in a sentence correctly. Adjust these rules and procedures to fit your needs.