Word relays are a great activity to do with the whole class to practice identifying prefixes, suffixes, and roots and writing words with these elements. My favorite method is a whiteboard relay. It’s a simple, versatile activity that requires almost no prep, and it gets the kids moving!
For the relay, divide your class into teams with an equal number of kids on each team. Each team gets one white board marker and lines up a ways back from the board. One at a time, the team sends up its team members to the board to write. The next kid can’t go until the first kid returns and hands over the marker.
There are many ways to set up a word relay on the whiteboard; it just depends on what you want your kids to practice. For example to do a word relay with prefixes, suffixes,or roots you could:
- Have a list of words with prefixes (or suffixes, or roots) on the board. Each kid runs up and circles the prefix (suffix, or root) in the next word on the list.
- Have a list of prefixes (or whatever) on the board, and each kid runs up and writes a word with the next prefix.
- Alternately,you could use a timer. As one kid from each group runs up to the board, set the timer for a short length of time. In this case, the object is to write as many words with the given prefix, suffix,or root as possible in the allotted time.
Depending on your group, you may or may not want to allow team members to help from a distance by calling out words or helpful advice. It can get a little noisy this way, but it does keep everyone involved.
Kids never seem to get tired of this game, and you can use it over and over to review a variety of vocabulary lessons. For more resources to make teaching prefixes, suffixes, and roots easier, check out the Vocabulary section of my store.
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