Teaching the difference between base words, prefixes and suffixes is associated with teaching the origin of words. By third grade, students should be familiar with basic word skills rules and be able to distinguish beginner level root words within a multi-syllabic word. For example, a third-grade student should be able to recognize the base word "pay" in the word "repay." Third-grade base word lesson plans help students learn more advanced base vocabulary words, as well as augment their spelling, reading and comprehension skills.
To teach this lesson, prepare a third-grade level root words worksheet and a prefix and suffix list. Pass out both lists and a dictionary to each student. Divide the class into partnered groups; each group will define the words on each list. Each group will then make up new words by adding prefixes and suffixes from their prefix and suffix list; the students will use their dictionaries to confirm that their new words are actual words. Next, each group will make a box chart; the categories are root word, root word definition, new word example and root word picture. Each group will fill in their charts and draw a picture to help them remember the root word.
Making Base Words
The purpose of this lesson is to help students memorize base words by making words out of longer words. Write words that are between nine and 14 letters long on the board. Students will put the given letters together to make as many base words as they can out of each word. For example, the words "tear" and "leave" are base words that can be made out of the word "elevator." Poll the class for the new words and write them on the board next under the original word. Students will make a column chart for each word; students will first list the original word and add the new words under each word. Review rules for making new words: no adding letters that are not in the original word, letters cannot be used more than once unless the letters are in the original word and no profane words can be suggested.
Base Words as Verbs
This lesson plan teaches students how adding suffixes and prefixes to verbs they use every day changes the meaning of a word. Create a list of base verbs suggested by the students on the board. The words have to be action verbs the students do daily. Each student will create new words and sentences for each new word. For example, students may suggest the base verb "walk." The newly created word may be "walking"; the sentence associated with the new word is, "I saw Joshua walking to school this morning with his brother."
Latin Root Words
This lesson plan teaches students how a large number of English words are derived from Latin root words. Create and distribute a chart of commonly used Latin root words, such as "script" and "rupt." Help students define each word on the chart and discuss with students some English words that are derived from the Latin root words. In class, students will create a chart of the original Latin root word and its definition and the new English word and its definition. For homework, students will add a new English word to their chart for each original Latin root word discussed.