Teaching Prefixes in the Primary Classroom

Are you teaching prefixes in your classroom? If you have done this before, you already know it can be a bit of a tricky subject for young students at first. Luckily, over the years of teaching this subject, I have found the perfect blend of teaching methods to make learning prefixes manageable and fun for your students! Today, I am sharing my personal methods and favorite resources for teaching prefixes in the primary classroom. 

Use these fun and engaging activities to help you when you begin teaching prefixes in your classroom this year.

Introduce Prefixes

As with any new grammar component, it's always a good idea to spend a fair amount of time at the beginning of your lesson defining the new term, discussing its use, and providing visuals as examples. I have found that this is especially true in my first grade classroom! Firsties need lots of examples, visual reminders, and practice to truly master trickier skills. 

This is why introducing new concepts with anchor charts is so successful.  Whether you use a pre-made anchor chart or build it with your students during your lesson, anchor charts give students a visual reminder of what they learned.

Use anchor charts like these when teaching prefixes will help your students begin to understand what a prefix is and how to use it.The first anchor chart I use focuses on what a prefix is and provides students with a variety of examples.  I like to highlight the prefix used in the words and provide pictures to help support new readers. Once students understand what a prefix is, then we can jump into different prefixes and their meanings. 

The second anchor chart I always use provides prefix meanings for the prefixes that my students would learn.  It is a key to helping students understand how adding a prefix changes the meaning of a word. 

I like to display the colorful anchor charts on the board in my class and go over them in-depth with my students. I typically provide even more examples of prefixes and call on students who would like to try and provide examples as well. 

After our lesson, students add these new concepts to their grammar notebooks using a black and white version of the same anchor charts. If you don't use a notebook, students can complete these pages individually as a great review of what was learned.  Students will color in the pictures, read the words on their own, and familiarize themselves with these words. This also serves as a great visual reminder for my students to keep at their desks as we work on this new topic!

Practice Building Words

Next, I like to use word cards to have my students practice building words with prefixes. 

Using manipulatives like word cards can help your students learn how to build words using prefixes.
For this activity, I always like to model it first on a pocket chart and run through some of the possible word combinations until my students get the hang of it. 

Afterward, I will split them into pairs or center groups and have them try this activity on their own. There is also a recording sheet included in this unit for students to use during this activity to keep track of the words they have built! 

This is a great way to add some vocabulary building for my students.  Many students are excited to add a prefix to any word and then disappointed to learn that this method doesn't always create real words. 

For students that struggle with this, I like to work in small groups on this activity.  I will give them a definition to help them form a real word using the available word cards.

No-Prep Prefix Practice

After your students seem to have a good grasp on this topic, it's time to jump into some practice activities. I have a variety of prefix practice sheets I use for this purpose.  I love that these can be used with the whole class as guided practice, independently or as an informal assessment to see how students are doing.  

Use worksheets like these to get your students excited about and engaged in learning prefixes in a fun way.
The worksheets I like include a variety of exercises including:
  • Reading and identifying words with prefixes among other words
  • Reading sentences and highlighting the prefix 
  • Rewriting words using prefixes 
  • Matching definitions with the correct prefix
  • Reading sentences and choosing the correct word to complete them 
  • Separating prefixes from base words 
  • Color by code using prefixes 

Writing With Prefixes

My students absolutely LOVE using spinner wheels to create words with prefixes.  But we can't just stop with making and reading the words.  This is a great way to get students using prefixes in their writing too!

Making learning prefixes a game is a great way to get your kids engaged and keep them engaged in learning and practicing prefixes.

After making some new words, students will use them to write sentences.  Not only does this give them practice using prefixes, but it gives you a really good way to see if students are understanding prefixes and how they change word meaning.

This is a favorite activity year after year!

Digital Prefix Activities

The final component of my teaching method on this subject includes a variety of fun and engaging Google Slides activities. Students really love using technology, so it is a wonderful way to engage them in learning activities.

We all know how much kids love technology, so using these digital prefix activities are a great way to keep your students engaged and excited about learning prefixes.
The best thing about this resource is the audio included on every slide! Students simply click the speaker to have the directions for that activity read aloud to them. Students can complete these activities independently and that makes these prefix activities the perfect addition for centers.  

Students will use the drag and drop feature to identify the correct answer and drop it in the right place. 

This is a great way to get lots of engaging practice and help your students master prefixes! 

Tackle Prefixes With Your Students

Ready to jump into teaching prefixes with your students? I hope these activities will be helpful in planning your lessons on this tricky topic! I have found that the combination of engaging digital activities, hands-on centers, no-prep printables, and great visuals provide the perfect blend of activities to really help my students master prefixes! 

You can find all of these activities in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  All of the printable activities are included in this set.

Teaching prefixes in first grade doesn't have to be challenging with these ready to use resources.

And you can find all of the digital activities in this set.

Teaching prefixes in first grade doesn't have to be challenging with these ready to use resources.

Save These Prefix Ideas and Activities 

Don't forget to pin these ideas to your favorite classroom Pinterest board for quick and easy access when you're ready to dive into prefixes!

Use these fun and engaging activities to help you when you begin teaching prefixes in your classroom this year.

Post a Comment