Thursday, February 25, 2010

Topic: Roots (Morphemes) and Vocabulary

10-second review: Fifth grade. Give students word, “transportation.” Break word into its morphemes: “trans-,” “port-.” Students suggest other words based on the first morpheme: “transfer,” “transplant,” “transition. etc.” Teacher leads students in guessing that the meaning is “across.” Other words with “port,“ “carry,” are “import,” “export,” “portable, etc.” Emphasis is on the meaning of the morpheme and how it carries through in the related words to provide a clue to meaning. Consider coincidental spelling (“trance”) and reject as not the morpheme meaning “across.”

Title: “Interactive Frames for Vocabulary Growth and Word Consciousness.” R Winters. Reading Teacher (May 20009), 685-690.

Comment: Good way to focus students’ attention on morphemes (or roots) that form many different words related by the presence of the morpheme while offering a clue to the meaning of the words.

The best vocabulary book for older (grades 9 – 12) students is Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis, based largely on roots and words related by the roots. Example: “ego,” “egoist,” “egotist,” “egocentric,” “alter ego,” etc. RayS.

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