Greek and Latin Root Word Idea Bin

With Common Core fully in place in my state, one of the big standards that we teach in fifth grade deals with Greek and Latin roots.   In the past, I wrote a few posts about how I taught them (you can find the posts here), but it has been so long, that I thought I would share these ideas with you again.  I figure if *I* have to teach roots, you probably do as well. :)

root words, language artsI really don't have a Root Word program.  Basically, I teach my students 4 root words per week.  To introduce the words, I have the students create index cards with the root, the definition, and a picture of the meaning on the front. 

The back of the cards has sample words containing the roots, as well as meanings. They keep these flash cards all year long to study, create games, use during writing, etc....

For homework, though, I have actually tried to combine all of what I was doing before.  Now I have them use these AWESOME (yes, I just called one of my resources awesome.....because it truly is) Trifolds.  They are so easy.  So to the point.  And SO EFFECTIVE!  My kids really are digesting the roots because of these trifolds.  I am in love with them.

thinking maps,, education
Throughout the week, I have my students create Circle Maps divided into four sections for the roots (meaning, sentence with a word that shows the meaning, picture, and different sample words).  These are done in groups and have been very helpful with the retention of the roots.  Since they are discussing them, the roots become even more cemented in their brains.

I also added to the Word Wall that I was already doing.  Before, it was sort of hit or miss if I actually got around to putting the roots on the wall.  I was just lazy or forgetful or busy or....whatever other excuse I can put there.   But now I created some cards.  They are cut out and laminated and ready to be put on my new word wall each week.  I also have them posted up for the week, sort of like spelling words would be.

Finally, I have introduced Root Word Memory to my students (just this past week actually).  This is a game that they LOVE LOVE LOVE.  In fact, they beg me to play most of the time.  It is played just like regular memory however this time they are matching the roots to their meanings.  What makes this a highly effective game for learning the roots is that when the students turn over the cards, they say the meaning or root they are looking for.  If they turn over a pair that does not match, they say what they would look for on the second root too.  The simple act of talking out the roots and meanings during the game makes the kids super successful in learning them!

So there you have it.  A few different things that I have done in my classroom to help teach my students about Greek and Latin roots.  What do you do?


  1. This is GREAT! I struggle with this. I am definitely using this. Thanks so much!!

  2. YAY! I love this. Thanks for the idea. In return, here is one you might enjoy. I will invite my 5th grade students to choose a word from my master list with latin roots in them. The students signs up for a Wednesday on the clipboard (Word Wednesdays) where they will present to the class for ten minutes what they have learned about the origins of their word from multiple sources that I provide in my classroom library and/or computer search.

  3. Love the trifolds. My kiddos are enjoying as well. Thanks! Do you have your students do the index cards in addition to the trifolds?


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