When implementing the Greek and Latin Roots Spelling and Vocabulary program, I wanted my students to invest time in learning their roots, meanings, and words. Therefore in addition to introducing each lesson with a pretest and discussion of the roots and words, I provided one day per week for practice and exploration activities in class and required as homework, one practice per week from a menu of practice options that provided selections for a variety of learning styles. Today I will share three of these options.
Ziggurats: For each root + meaning set and each spelling word, students create a ziggurat. (This is a visual and kinesthetic practice.) For example:
hex = s
hex = si
hes = six
Picture Frames: For each root + meaning set and each spelling word, students create a picture frame writing each fully along all of the four sides of the frame. When done students draw a picture or symbol in the middle representing the root or word practiced. (This is a visual and kinesthetic practice.)
Spell Aloud: Students work with a responsible adult who verbally quizzes them on the meaning of the roots and spelling of the words. For any root + definition or spelling word missed the student repeats it correctly three times. Instead of turning in his or her practice, the student must turn in a signed note from their adult partner stating the date they engaged in this practice. (Auditory)
Each week students were free to select and complete any one practice option they wanted. The practices were due each Friday.
On the Friday of the test, students spelling practices had to be turned in before taking the test in order to qualify for scoring. I found this “no make-up” policy necessary as the purpose of doing the assignment was for engaging in concentrated study before the test.
I scored practices as done or not done. If a student only practiced part of the list, the percentage of roots and words completed determined the percentage of points for which his or her practice qualified.
Rationale: Please note, these spelling and vocabulary practices were not busy work. The objective of the Greek and Latin Roots Spelling/Vocabulary program is for students to remember the formation and meaning of Greek and Latin roots so they can recognize them when encountered in unfamiliar words, and use them to help determine the meanings of these words. For this to happen, students need to engage with their roots and words multiple times within he context of the unit in order to truly own them.