The lesson created valuable conversations around words and their meanings. But first, upon more reflection we made a few minor changes:
- We decided for the “with” part (active engagement) to use a few pages of our mentor text, The Storm. When we were looking for an example to use in the “to” (the teach) part of our lesson, we noticed that there were an enormous amount of prefixes and suffixes on each page so we made this adjustment. The children would be given time to work in their independent text during the “by” part of the lesson (on their own).
- During the share, we had the children who found prefixes stand up first, share, and then add their post its to the board. Next, we had those who found suffixes stand up and finally the children who found both. It kept the share more active and interesting.
The children were highly engaged as they searched through their books for suffixes and prefixes and this lesson had high impact on their understanding.
Where did the children take us?
During the lesson, the conversation was rich, the children were asking very insightful questions and they really noticed the subtle differences in words. This was highly analytical and it was meaningful as it was in the context of a familiar text. Here are some of the things that came up:
- One child made the connection to math involving shapes (octagon, triangle, quadrilateral, decagon) and that the prefixes in the name of the shapes help us understand how many sides they have.
- A connection was made between the suffix “ed” and the genre historical fiction. For both we used the gesture and words going back in time.
- A conversation about titles came up as one child questioned the difference between the prefix “mis” and “Miss.”
- One child noticed how the word prefix has a prefix in it. This sparked a discussion about how the “pre” tells us that a prefix is at the beginning of a word.
- This is formative assessment and as we gathered information we realized that the children had a limited understanding of what a base word was so we had to do some additional teaching around this.
- When finding words that had the prefix “in” we talked about how a prefix can have multiple meanings and we need to find the one that fits the word.
- A couple of children thought compound words were an example and a discussion about the difference between the two began.
- The children found examples of a variety of other prefixes and suffixes and we need to make an additional chart.
- They noticed that sometimes words don’t fit the pattern like “morning” .
So what will tomorrow bring?
As with all good teaching and learning the conversation goes on with the children in the lead. The children will be adding on to our anchor chart to include other prefixes and suffixes that the children had located such as “ous” (full of), “ly”(making an adjective an adverb), “s” or “es” (plural), and “est” (a degree of an adjective). The key to this process is investment by the students and putting the work of learning in their hands.