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Up from the Roots



  • Language Arts


  • 3-5
  • 6-8

Brief Description

Students create real words by combining root words and/or short words.


Objectives/Goals Students

  • demonstrate knowledge of root words and prefixes.
  • develop vocabulary skills.
  • demonstrate creative-thinking skills.


dictionary, prefix, root words, Latin, Greek

Materials Needed

dictionary, pens or pencils, Up from the Roots work sheet, one per student

Lesson Plan

  • Review with students root words and prefixes. Give examples of each.
  • Distribute the Up from the Roots work sheet. Have students define real words that include the root words, prefixes, and suffixes on the sheet and then make up new words. Encourage students to be creative!


Evaluate students' work sheets.


  1. syn (same or similar) + oynm (name) = synonym -- a word that means the same as another (Accept student-written definitions that capture the meaning.)
  2. hemi (half) + sphere (globe or ball) = hemisphere; accept student definitions that capture the meaning.
  3. auto (self) + graph (writing) = autograph
  4. bio (life) + ology (study of) = biology
  5. uni (one) + cycle (wheel or circle) = unicycle
  6. dia (through or across) + gram (something written or drawn) = diagram
  7. tele (far away) + phone (sound) = telephone
Bonus: telegraph, telegram, biograph, biosphere, diagraph. Have students share their responses.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Lois Lewis

National Standards

Language Arts: