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LOVEly Instruction: Morpheme Monsters - Teaching about Prefixes and Suffixes

It seems odd to begin my "LOVEly Instruction" showcase with a lesson on monsters (and you will really question my decision as you review my artwork below! 😂 ) but, the focus today really isn't on monsters; it's on morphology... which, again, is a topic that is scary for many teachers. I, however, love morphology instruction. I want to share some of my favorite tips, techniques, and hands-on activities with you today!

Today I spent a time teaching one of my small groups the difference between a phoneme and a morpheme. We used “morpheme monsters” to help illustrate this concept before practicing with a hands-on sorting activity. I LOVE morphology and opening this door to understanding for my students!

Please excuse my hasty sketch and complete lack of artistic ability. Fortunately, the artwork is not the focus of this instruction!

The parts of the monster body really help students to visualize the different morphemes within words. Plus, it adds a "fun," creative element to word study, which is also appealing to our young learners.

This quick phoneme-versus-morpheme sort helps students immediately apply this concept, and it helps me check for their understanding. Win, win!

This is just the starting point in our morphology instruction. We will continue to focus on specific prefixes and suffixes, as well as their meanings, as we move ahead. There is much to learn (or teach, rather), and sometimes that can feel overwhelming!

Fortunately, I have spent quite a few years teaching these skills to children across multiple ages. I have created several handy resources to make this instruction as easy (and as fun) as possible, regardless of what grade you teach!

I have made teacher references guides..

... cards for teaching morphemes and their meanings, as well as helpful organizational tips...

... fun-but-effective, hands-on activities for student application...

... which can help support skill reviews and teacher assessment...

... and provide opportunities for students to creatively stretch their thinking with word work!

I do love morphology instruction! I hope these resources will empower other teachers (and their students) to confidently engage in effective word study.

You can find all this, and more in my product "Morpheme Monsters: Resources for Learning About Prefixes and Suffixes" in the TallyTales TPT store!


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