Greek and Latin Root Words

Prefixes, Suffixes, and Greek and Latin Root Words. Sounds scary. Sounds difficult. In reality, knowing the origin and breaking down larger words can help children learn new vocabulary quick and easy.

Look at the word autobiography. If we break it down into smaller parts, it is easier to determine its meaning without having to look it up or guess. Auto– is the Greek root meaning “self,” bio- is the Greek root meaning “life,” and graph is the Greek root for “written.” Piece it together and an autobiography is written by a person about his own life. Take away the root “auto” and a biography is written about a life.

An example of a prefix would be “un-,” which means not. So breaking down words like unsaid, unequal, undone, and unclear it’s easier to see that these words actually mean not said, not equal, not done, and not clear.

When children are learning to read, it is important for them to have a background knowledge of these prefixes, suffixes, and root words so they can comprehend the vocabulary words they are reading. It’s one thing to read the words on a page, but the second part to reading is comprehending.

Here is a fun way to practice prefixes, suffixes, and root words using paint chip samples from the paint or home improvement store. Just write the “root” on the top of the card, and using the other colors, write words that come from those roots. You can punch a hole in them and create a book of words. Whenever your child comes across a word using a specific prefix, suffix, or root, add it to the card.



Laugh, Play, Read at the Library

Laugh, Play, Read Literacy Night has begun again. If you haven’t attended a Laugh, Play, Read program at our library, here is a snippet of what you can expect.

Once a month at our Main Library and once a month at a branch location, I set up a couple tables with different literacy-based activities designed to let children have fun playing and exploring while their parents learn ways to replicate them at home. Most of the programs have a make-it-take-it component that allows parents to create a project to take home.

Last night, we did Sensory Explosion at North Branch. Sensory Explosion is one of my favorites because it involves making playdough, playing with puzzle pieces in the colored rice tub, making letters in sand and exploring rough surfaces to draw and write. We made Bubble Dough, an extremely easy to make form of playdough. I used hair conditioner (the brand that costs less than $1), corn starch, and a little olive oil. According to the recipe, shower gel or hand soap will also work in place of conditioner (but it is what I had on hand). The children had so much fun pretending it was a turtle or hat, but they also used playdough mats to practice forming letters and numbers.

The programs are designed for children 3 to 8 years old. Most of the activities we do can be tailored to any of the ages and grade levels within that range.

Keep a lookout for a program nearest you. We will be doing several different themes:

If You Build It: Laugh, play, and learn new ideas for teaching early reading skills to your children by building with blocks and other materials. Make your own literacy games to take home.

Games, Games, Games: Laugh, play, and learn new ideas for teaching early reading skills to your children with homemade and repurposed games. Make your own literacy games to take home.

ABCs 123s: Laugh, play, and learn new ideas for teaching early reading skills to your children. Make your own literacy games to take home.

Storytelling: Laugh, play, and learn new ideas for teaching early reading skills to your children by bringing the pages of favorite stories to life. Make your own literacy games to take home.

More Great Teacher-Approved Apps

In October, I shared with you three apps perfect for your preschooler who is working on his/her early literacy skills. Today, I will be sharing three more great apps for your school-ager (Kindergarten through 2nd grade). These apps come from a teacher workshop at one of our local school districts.

k123 1. Kindergarten BINGO: Letters, Numbers, Shapes, & Colors –
Ages: 4 to 6
Cost: Free!
Purpose: Teaches shapes, alphabet, and numbers. Children can choose BINGO games based on colors and shapes, alphabet letter or sounds, and numbers. Parents can choose the difficulty settings.



grammarjammers2. Grammar Jammers Primary Edition – Pearson Education, Inc.
Ages: 5 to 7
Cost: Free!
Purpose: Animated songs and chants that explain adjectives, contractions, nouns, pronouns, verbs, punctuation, and sentence structure. Quick checks at the end of a song help with review.



pbsparents3. PBS Parents Play & Learn – PBS KIDS
Ages: Birth to 5
Cost: Free!
Purpose: An app for both children and parents to use together. The app comes with just a couple games that can be played on your tablet. The rest of the information teaches parents how to turn everyday activities like taking a walk, bathtime, and a day at the zoo into literacy- and math-based experiences.

*Links take you to the Apple iTunes App Store.