Tips For Teaching Suffixes

I've already told you how much I love to teach prefixes in the primary classroom, but it's equally important to make sure your students have a firm understanding of suffixes as well! Once you get in a groove with teaching these grammar topics, it really isn't too tricky! Over the years I have found the "magic formula" to teach grammar with ease. Today, I am saving you the trouble of wracking your brain in search of the answer and will be sharing my top tips for teaching suffixes. 

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

Start With Visuals

With just about anything I teach in my classroom, I like to start with visual examples. I find that taking the time to really go over our new topic and provide lots of visual aid helps my first graders truly grasp the concept and makes for a much smoother lesson. 

I am a huge advocate for anchor charts for this reason. Building anchor charts with your students is a really fun way to bring the lesson full circle, or you can use premade anchor charts like I have done here.

Use anchor charts like these when teaching prefixes will help your students begin to understand what a suffix is and how to use it.
When teaching suffixes, I have 2 go-to anchor charts that really help to support my students in learning. The first chart shows how suffixes can be used with base word examples and pictures to help support new readers. The second chart defines suffixes to help students understand that adding a suffix will add meaning to the original word. 

Using anchor charts is perfect for an opening activity to this new topic. I like to display these anchor charts on the whiteboard or an easel and really spend some time going over them in-depth with my students. I cover each provided example and sometimes provide a few more to see if my students are getting the hang of this new idea. 

While we go over the full-color anchor charts, I like to provide my students with a black and white version of the anchor chart that they can follow along with. After the group lesson, students can color them in and add them to their grammar notebooks. I find that this extra step really helps the lesson "sink in" and also serves as an excellent form of reference for my kids during our practice activities. 

Practice Using Suffixes

Once we have gone over what suffixes are and how to use them, it's time to get some practice in action! I love to use base word cards and suffixes in a pocket chart to show my students how we can build words. This is a fun activity to do as a group and call on volunteers to give it a try.

Using manipulatives like word cards can help your students learn how to build words using suffixes
This activity also doubles as a great center game or partner activity! For this option, run the word and suffix cards on cardstock and split the children into groups or pairs. Provide each group with a set of cards and the included recording sheet. Students will work together (or independently) to use the cards to build words and then write them down on their individual recording sheets. 

There is also a list of words that can be made with the included cards if your students need a little extra prompting. Sometimes, I will also work in small groups with students who struggle with this concept to provide a little more supervision and direction. 

No-Prep Practice For Suffixes

As with just about anything in the primary classroom, practice makes perfect! Once your students have had some practice working in small groups and centers on this topic, it's a great time to pull out some practice worksheets. 

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

Use Suffixes in Writing 

As another fun center option, I love to make "suffix wheels" with my students. This activity is always a classroom favorite and is an excellent way to get lots of practice with reading suffixes and then using them in sentence writing. 

For this activity, students will "spin the wheel" to reveal a new word to practice reading. Once they go through all the words on the wheel, they can choose 1 word from each wheel to write a sentence with on the included recording sheet. 

This is a great way to test your students' understanding of the suffix meanings, grow vocabulary, and strengthen writing skills in a fun way! These writing worksheets actually make a pretty fun bulletin board display as well. You would be surprised at some of the creative sentences I have seen with these words! 

Digital Suffix Activities 

If you're looking to take this lesson to the next level, I highly recommend adding a sprinkle of digital activities as well! 

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 suffixes
Over the years, I have found that using a combination of paper and digital activities really helps my students get a firm grasp on whatever we are focusing on. Students love digital activities and using them is a great way to mix them up from the traditional classroom lessons. 

To finish out this lesson in my classroom, I always use a variety of Google Slides activities that focus on suffixes. 

My favorite thing about the slides is the audio included. Students simply click the speaker to have the directions for that activity read aloud to them. These make a fantastic ELA center or digital homework assignment to follow up on your classroom lessons. 

Not to mention, these activities are interactive and fun for students with zero prep!

Teach Your Students All About Suffixes

So, what do you think? Ready to dive into teaching suffixes with your classroom? 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 grammar topics of all kinds. This Suffixes resource is a sure-fire way to help your students fully grasp the concept of suffixes this year. 

Grab these engaging suffixes activities to use in your classroom today!

Save These Ideas For Later

Don't forget to pin these ideas to your favorite classroom Pinterest board for quick and easy access when you're ready to tackle suffixes with your students. 

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

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