Roots for Early Dismissal Vocabulary Exercise

One of my students’ favorite ways to review their Greek and Latin roots was to play “Roots for Early Dismissal.”

What do you need to play?

  • The list of the week’s roots and review roots
  • Popsicle sticks or slips of paper with your students’ names on them
  • A container to hold the names

How do you play?

Give your students enough time to clean up and gather their stuff leaving about 2-3 minutes before the bell rings. Do not start the activity until everyone is sitting quietly in their seats with their things, ready to go.

Draw a name and say a root. If that student provides a definition for the root, she may leave. If she can’t, continue to draw names until someone finally defines it and leaves. Allow students only five-ten seconds to define the root before you move on to a new student. In order to review as many roots as possible, this is a staccato, rapid-fire game.

Once a root has been defined, proceed to a new name and the next root on the list.

When you come to the end of the root list just go back to the beginning and keep playing until the bell rings.

My students loved the opportunity to get out of class early, even if it was only a few seconds, so they were all eager to participate in the game. Furthermore, students who had not yet learned their roots benefited from hearing their classmates correctly define them.

The pace moved so fast, there was not much time for any one student to be embarrassed if he missed a root, and students who needed the practice got a second chance at success–if they have been listening.

Give it a try. I guarantee, “Roots for Early Dismissal” will become a favorite in your classroom as it did in mine.

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