Lesson Plan

Word Detectives

Students will solve the mystery of meaning in regards to Greek combination words by mapping words according to prefix/ suffix/root and/or morphemes.
Kirstin S.
Classroom teacher
Cabell County Schools
Huntington, WV
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My Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
My Subjects English Language Arts

Students will be able to...

  • identify and map prefixes, suffixes, and roots of Greek combination words.
  • determine meaning of morphemes.
  • use context clues to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words and utilize reference materials to affirm meaning.
English Language Arts
Grades 8 - 10
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Opener/ Hook

Activity: Investigating

For the Opener, teachers will provide/ project the following words for students to map morphemes (prefix, suffix, root) and determine as many meanings to parts as possible: agoraphobia, allegory, archaeology, bibliography, and encyclopedia.  (Teachers may select other Greek combination words depending upon subject and students.)  For collaboration and modification purposes, students may work in pairs and use the projected document (using an document projector such as an ELMO) to share responses with the class.  Students will discuss responses and share difficulties/ epiphanies.

2 Direct Instruction

Students will log on to their Lexia Lessons (per school/ county use) using mobile laptop or tablet device to complete Structural Analysis lesson regarding Greek Combination words. The teacher should pace students by providing a completion time or conduct the next instructional component in a two station rotation splitting the students in two groups (or smaller) in accordance with students with similar work patterns/ habits.  Prior to letting the students begin Lexia Lesson, the teacher should briefly define morpheme, prefix, suffix, and root for the students in the form of 'cloze' note-taking (teacher or other audio provides information while students fill in cloze notes). 

3 Guided Practice

Using the Lexia Skill Builders pencil-paper guided practice handout (Level 17/ Structural Analysis: Greek Combination Forms 1), students will work in pairs to identify and investigate the morphemes and meanings of several Greek combination works using resource/ reference materials online (per teacher descretion).

4 Independent Practice

Using the article "New skeleton may resolve puzzle presented by Kennewick Man" (Lexile per class using Newsela website) or student choice of a science article (from Newsela), prompt students to read this complex text; during reading, students should identify 5 terms from the text to map like they did in the guided practice and Opener.  Next, students should compose a three sentence paraphrase of the article using information gained from the word mapping.

5 Wrap-Up

Activity: Creating

In pairs, students will create a "How-To" act like Word Detectives to find meaning in Greek combination or related word combinations using academic and domain-specific vocabulary like morpheme, prefix, suffix, and root.  This can be done are large presentation paper, presented to the class, and posted to classroom walls or bulletin boards for future reference.