A DIY Prefix Idea: With Minimal Prep and Have Fun!

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Looking for more ways to work on prefixes but don't want the prep?

Prefixes can be a bit tricky for students. This DIY prefix idea, though, requires almost no prep and is engaging for students! Read more about it here.

Why prefixes?

I am always looking for new and fun ways to teach my students to compensate when they don't know a vocabulary word.  Why is this important?  Well, if they don't know what a word means while reading it can impact their ability to comprehend the text or respond to answers to show they understand.  It can be lack of familiarity of a word or even difficulties with decoding that can cause a student to stumble on words in texts.  It is impossible for us, as SLPs to work on every word out there.  Is drilling really the answer?  After a while, we need to look for ways to teach our students to use strategies to try and figure out what words mean when we are not with them.  One such strategy, is understanding prefixes, suffixes, and base words.  You can use this DIY to work on either one of those but I am going to show you how I used it to teach my students to recognize “familiar” prefixes and pairings with base words.

What do you need?

I grabbed this sorting dish from a dollar store.  It is cracked a bit as you can see in the pictures, but hey it still does the job!  I grabbed masking tape so that I can write and place prefixes on the sections.  Tape allows me to easily pull off and use the sorting dish another way another time.   I wrote the meanings of the prefixes and drew a representation of them too.  I cut up pieces of construction paper and wrote various base words on them.  I placed the base words in the middle.

Prefixes can be a bit tricky for students. This DIY prefix idea, though, requires almost no prep and is engaging for students! Read more about it here.

Using this activity:

I used this activity to see what prefix + base words my students had background knowledge of!  I let them pick words from the center and test out the various prefixes to see which ones they have heard of before.  If they were able to pick the correct one, I checked to see if they could come up with their own sentences using that word.  If they were able to do that, we decided what the meaning of the word meant based on their sentence.

Prefixes can be a bit tricky for students. This DIY prefix idea, though, requires almost no prep and is engaging for students! Read more about it here.

Then we discussed:

Could words fit into multiple sections because they can be paired with more than one prefix?  How did the prefix change the meaning of the base word?  For the words they were unfamiliar with, if I used it in a sentence, could they figure out the meaning with their new knowledge of the prefixes and their meanings?  Can they come up with their own sentences?

By making my students more aware of what prefixes are and familiar ones they should expect to see, my students enjoyed pointing them out in follow up activities such as reading comprehensions and even noticing when I used them in my everyday speech (i.e. “Should we replay this game?”).

I like to follow this activity with my “Introduction to Prefixes” activity.  That is also how I picked my prefixes to address!  Learn more about it by clicking HERE!  How do you work on prefixes?!

Want to see my Facebook Live video on this idea?!