If you are teaching my Greek and Latin Roots Vocabulary and Spelling System, it is a good idea to have a variety of study strategies to use to help your students make the meanings of their roots their own.
After Roots for Early Dismissal, see post 10/19, Puzzlers was one of my students’ favorites.
To start, have your students get out the current list of roots and pair up with a partner. They will need a sheet of paper and pen or pencil as well.
Assign each set of partners one of the roots from the list and have them write the root and its meaning at the top of their paper.
Discuss how roots are pieces of words whose meanings influence the definition of the word.
Instruct them to make up words of their own using their assigned root and write a definition that is influenced by the root’s meaning. Impress on your students you do not want them to find real words that use the root, but rather to create their own words using the root.
For example, from this week’s list they might come up with something like:
Maxicat = a very large breed of cat
Satisnack = a satisfying snack
Require each set of partners create at least three words. I often offered extra credit points if they created more than five.
After the students have created their words and definitions. Have them look over their list and circle the one they like best.
Call on each pair to stand up and tell the class: their root, its meaning, their puzzler word, and its definition.
Through sharing with each other, the students will have the opportunity to not only learn their particular root well, but to make associations with the other roots through hearing how their classmates have played with them.