Two Programs, One Goal:
Academic Achievement

Teaching Greek and Latin Roots

teaching Greek and Latin Roots Every language was created using exactly the same thing – morphemes. You can think of them as the building blocks of language because they’re the smallest meaningful units of any language, including English. These are words or parts of words that can’t be any further divided, things we often refer to as roots, prefixes, and suffixes. And in the English language, many of our words have a Greek and Latin history. In fact…

  • over 40% of all words involve Greek Morphemes
  • over 50% of all words involve Latin Morphemes
  • over 90% of all science, medical, and engineering terms involve Greek and/or Latin Morphemes

And since many big words in the English language are often made up of these small word parts, knowing the meanings of these small word parts will give your students the power to unlock the meanings of some complex jawbreakers. Your students will more easily understand new words and more quickly develop a larger vocabulary.

Building Vocabulary with Word Roots - Not Memorizing

Most vocabulary workbooks demand that students:
  1. 1) just brute-force memorize meanings of new words,
  2. 2) perhaps play with them for a bit in completing fill-in-the-blank exercises, and then
  3. 3) regurgitate them back on a quiz.

Not the Ready to Teach materials. The holistic approach of these programs begins by stimulating and incorporating students’ existing and inert morpheme knowledge. Most students already have a lot of compartmentalized morpheme knowledge just sitting dormant in their brains, waiting to be unlocked, released, and connected. This program teaches students to activate and link their prior knowledge to master new vocabulary, and this process builds academic confidence. And confidence grows as they transfer knowledge and skills into their reading in other academic areas.

A Vocabulary Program Incorporating All Modalities and Proven Educational Theory

It’s NOT Greek to Me! and Latin and Loving It! engage all three learning modalities– visual, auditory, and tactile/kinesthetic – providing instruction for each of the three brain pathways. This gives all types of learners a solid chance at comprehension. Also, both programs engage all four elements of proven learning theory, presented in the National Research Council’s publication How People Learn:

  • knowledge centered – lessons clearly communicate well-organized information that is scaffolded in ways to help student acquire and apply knowledge
  • learner centered – lessons check and build on students’ prior knowledge
  • assessment centered – lessons provide students opportunities to (1) reflect on what they know, (2) check, revise, and improve their thinking, (3) demonstrate their knowledge to themselves and the teacher, and (4) be tested for mastery with fairly aligned assessment
  • community centered – lessons allow students to (1) make content-related communications with others, including the teacher and (2) to connect what they are learning to a broader community beyond the classroom

When all four of these are in place, studies repeatedly show optimal content learning with the ability to transfer what is learned to new situations. Incorporating all of these centers results in lessons that develop higher-order thinking skills of analysis, synthesis, and inductive reasoning. Also, dictionary usage, reading strategies, and opportunities for public speaking in a classroom are all a part of these lessons.

You may be thinking that theory is great – but what about real classroom application? The author who developed these lessons taught them to over 1,000 secondary students in suburban, inner city, and independent school secondary classrooms, modifying and tweaking the instructional processes throughout 16 years of classroom teaching. Then, as a teacher of future secondary English teachers at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education, both she and her students engaged in rigorous analyses of these lessons to assure they incorporated all aspects of proven learning theory.

If you’re wondering how to teach prefixes and suffixes in a fun way, then search no further. Yes, these two programs teach morphemes, but they also make learning immensely engaging and memorable for your students. The exercises and activities encourage students to play with language once again, making it a game of discovery rather than a chore of rote memorization. Activities include the following:

  • Work the Word – Students use the given morpheme parts to break down and understand modern English words, and then define it for themselves using their own words.
  • Create Context Clue Sentences – Students make up their own sentences on topics relevant to them using the morphemes, including built-in clues to the key word’s meaning.
  • Create Your Own “Funny” Words – Students make up their own words using the morpheme parts and then define them as well.
  • Flashcard Games and Challenges – Students pair or group up and study with each other, perhaps even with a pinch of friendly competition. Students can also study with their parents at home.
  • Shared Bulletin Board – Students find and bring in morpheme-based words (used in context) in magazines, newspapers, etc. and pin or tape them to the classroom’s bulletin board to share them with their peers.

Download Curriculum

Check out the vocabulary curriculum. Download the first lessons for either or both "It’s NOT Greek to Me! and Latin and Loving It! now. Review the materials and contact us with any questions. You may also be interested in FAQ's or reading customer reviews.