As essential as Latin and Greek roots are to vocabulary growth, to a middle schooler or upper elementary student they can seem more than a little dry. For an English teacher, it’s easy to get interested in a new root that can open up a whole new selection of words, but for a kid, probably not so much!
When it comes to Latin and Greek roots, I think it’s fair to say that many kids need a little motivation! And what’s more motivating to kids than an activity with friends, a fun game, a craft activity, or a puzzle? Take a look at these activities for some ideas. You can see previews of my ready-to-use versions here.
- File folder board games are old school, but kids still love them. After all, what’s not to love about a game that you can sit around with your friends and play in school? And to keep the education going, this one has two sets of question cards. Kids answer a question from one set at the beginning of every turn, and answer the others for bonus moves.
Bingo is another perennial favorite. Fill the Bingo card with words that have the roots you are studying, and the clues can either be about the words themselves or about the roots they contain.
A relay race in which teams of students race to list the most words with certain roots is fun too. And, it’s a quick way to perk up a sleepy day with some activity and movement!
Puzzles and Fun Activities
Puzzles are another kid favorite, and there are so many kinds. Many are simple paper activities to be done at the student’s desk, but then who doesn’t appreciate the peace and quiet for a few minutes while kids are happily engaged in their activity? One that I like is a color-coding puzzle in which kids color a design according to a key that is based on the words and roots they are studying. Jigsaw puzzle pieces are another option to turn a simple worksheet into a cut and paste activity that is definitely more appealing to hands-on kids!
Even an activity like a word sort can be made more fun by adding a cut and paste element. It may take the kids a little longer than just writing their lists, but I think the increase in engagement is worth it. Not to mention that kids seem to take a little more care to get these types of activities correct. Word parts, roots and affixes, can also be identified with a little cut and paste activity as shown here.
Speaking of cut and paste, let’s break out the foldables! You can see a cube foldable in the background of the picture above. The directions on that sheet tell the student specific information to fill in on each side of the cube before cutting it out and folding it into the cube.
And of course, foldables come in so many different kinds. The possibilities are endless – it’s just a matter of finding one that suits the information you want to include. The little flower foldable shown here is nice because it can be glued down in students’ notebooks by the center shape.
All of these activities, plus others, are posted in a ready-to-use format in my TPT store. (After all, maybe you have better uses of your time just now that sitting down and fabricating lots of new activities from scratch!) You can see it here: Latin and Greek Roots – Foldables, Games, and Fun Activities.