Two Programs One Goal - Academic Achievement

Morphemes for Vocabulary Development

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 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.

Advantages of our Program

Most vocabulary workbooks demand that students just (1) brute-force memorize the meanings of new words, (2) perhaps play with them for a little bit when completing simple fill-in-the-blank exercises, and then (3) regurgitate them out hollowly once again on a quiz, these two vocabulary programs take a more holistic approach. And fact is, many students already have inert, compartmentalized morpheme knowledge just sitting there, waiting to be unlocked, released, and connected –as opposed to pounded in and memorized. This program teaches students to activate and link prior knowledge to master new vocabulary, and this process builds academic confidence.

It’s NOT Greek to Me! and Latin and Loving It! are vocabulary programs designed with actual education theory in mind. And the combined set of lesson activities teach so much more than just simple “vocabulary.” Higher-order thinking skills of analysis and synthesis, inductive reasoning, public speaking, dictionary usage, and reading strategies are all a part of these lessons.

And that’s because it’s well grounded in the current learning theory set forth in the National Research Council’s How People Learn text, making these morphemes programs knowledge-centered, learner-centered, assessment-centered, and community-centered. Plus, the lessons involve all the learner modalities – visual, auditory, and tactile/kinesthetic – giving all types of learners a solid chance at comprehension.

On top of all the theory built into these morphemes programs, these lessons (and the lesson design behind them) were developed throughout author Dr. Alene Harris’ over 40 years in education - including 16 years as a teacher in suburban, inner city, and private school secondary classrooms; and 26 years as a teacher and researcher at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education – with 10 of those years preparing future English Language Arts teachers.

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:

  • 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.

Learn More

Learn more about the materials in the Morpheme program, look through the FAQ's or read customer reviews.

Inject a little fun into yor teaching with a program proven to stimulate thinking and improve vocabulary development.