Greek and Latin affixes and roots as clues

Greek and Latin affixes and roots as clues

I can use Greek and Latin roots and affixes as clues to determine the meaning...

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Greek and Latin affixes and roots as clues

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In this lesson, students learn several new Greek and Latin roots and affixes including “crypt,” “naut,” “dict,” and “rupt.” They practice applying their knowledge of these words to help define words like “cryptography,” “nautical,” “diction,” and “rupture.”

Common core standards


Learning Objective

Students will be able to correctly define words by identifying and defining the Greek or Latin root or affix.


Students begin by reviewing the strategies they already know for determining the meaning of unknown words and phrases. For example, they may use context clues, synonyms, antonyms, or look for examples. One way to determine the meaning of unknown words is to use root words, prefixes, and suffixes. Students will review by dragging root words they’ve already learned to the correct definition. Explain that so many English words have Latin or Greek root words, so knowing them can help you determine the meaning of many new words.


Introduce some common Greek roots: “Crypt/cryph,” “gen,” and “naut.” Tell what they mean and have students make connections with words like “cryptography” and try to come up with their own words that contain these roots. Then introduce some common Latin roots: “Capt,” “dict,” and “rupt.” Ask if they can think of any words that contain these roots and make connections with words like, “captive” and “bankrupt.” Next, students drag words to match the correct definition. Then they will drag a word to complete the sentences. After this, students will practice by writing a paragraph using at least three of the newly learned root words and affixes.


Students will answer true/false and multiple-choice questions to check for understanding. They will define the root words discussed in the lesson and use their knowledge of the roots to define different words.


Students will have one minute to work with a partner to think of as many words as they can that contain the root words or affixes listed. When they finish, check to see who has the most words! For an extra challenge, ask students to try to explain the meaning of these words.

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